When Steve Nash signed with the Lakers last summer, it was supposed to be a landmark move to open their offense up to more pick-and-roll possibilities with Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol while taking the ball out of Kobe Bryant's hands and allowing him to work off ball more.
But then Nash broke his leg the second game of the season against the Trail Blazers in a rather freak accident. It was the beginning to the Lakers' season being derailed, and was something that nagged Nash even when he returned later on.
Joining Jim Rome, now, the 39-year-old Nash says he's healthy and ready.
"Last year was so disappointing for all of us and it definitely left a sour taste in our mouths," Nash said. "A lot of motivation to come back stronger and have a better year.
"I definitely walked away from that season with a resolve to come back better."
The big problem with that is that his team may not come back better. Having lost Dwight Howard to the Rockets in free agency, the Lakers are damaged, old and not as talented. The question is though, why didn't it work with Howard to start with? And why would he leave Los Angeles?
One reason that Nash recently cited was Howard's lack of comfort with the team and Mike D'Antoni's offensive system. Asked about if that was an issue last season, Nash elaborated.
"For me, it's his comfort level," he said. "If he's not happy, if he's not excited to be there, that's going to play a role in everything that happens on the court. Ironically, Houston plays D'Antoni's system. And he'll probably thrive in that system because he'll be more comfortable. We just look back and say goodbye to that season and try and focus on ourselves."
"I think everyone has different interests and tastes and a different comfort zone. I've always just wanted an opportunity to play and compete, I've never really had the mindset of not being supported. I don't know if he said that but just in my experience I know it's my job to support the club. To play well, to train hard, to be a positive influence and try and win as many games as you can for the fans and the club for putting faith in you."
The other problem last season: Howard was coming off major back surgery.
"I think more than anything, he definitely wasn't healthy," Nash said. "You have to give him credit for playing. He played a lot of games at less than 100 percent and I thank him for that."