In the Lakers' blowout loss at home to the Wolves Sunday night, once again point guard Steve Nash looked like a shell of himself. He's battled so many injuries since joining the Lakers (fractured leg, hip problems related to his degenerative back condition, and problems directly related to the back), and they're adding up. It's gotten bad enough that Nash told reporters Sunday night he's emotionally frustrated and he'll see a specialist this week.
"That was probably foolish on my part that I didn't [ask out]," Nash said. "But you don't want to leave a game when you're getting it handed to you. You want to try to stick [it through]."
Nash walked out of the arena on Sunday night knowing he has an appointment to see a back specialist Monday but having no idea when the next time he'll get to lace up his sneakers for a game again, or, if he does, if he'll ever get to feel some semblance of the player he once was.
"I'm a little emotional," Nash said. "It's hard. I really want to play and I really want to play the way I am accustomed to playing. To be so limited is frustrating and also to not know where kind of a cleanish bill of health is [coming from] is a little daunting, too."
The signs are all pointing one way and it's depressing.
We all knew that Nash had an expiration date, and honestly, him playing until he's nearly 40 when there were concerns about his back dating back to the early 2000's shows you what he's capable of. But it's still crushing to see a guy who puts so much effort into taking care of himself have his body betray him before he's ready to let go.
And there's no way of avoiding the elephant in the room; you have to wonder what happens if Nash never leaves Phoenix as a free agent in 2012. The Suns were going nowhere, but their training staff is lightyears beyond everyone else in the league, and exponentionally better than the Lakers, if we're just going off of results. Nash put so much of himself into trying to be as healthy as possible, maybe he needed the extra support in Phoenix.
But that's speculation. The fact remains that Nash looks like he's headed towards the end of his illustrious career, whether he's ready or not. This stuff is never fair.