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Steve Nash open to taking games off to rest during regular season

Sep 28, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Steve Nash AP

Now that Grant Hill has retired and the playing days of Kurt Thomas similarly appear to be behind him, the players whose birthdays are just a day apart no longer top the list of the league’s oldest players.

The honor now belongs to Steve Nash, and if he wasn’t aware of it before, he is now — the NBA sent him a memo notifying him of his official status as the oldest player to grace a roster to start the season.

That fact, along with the way the Lakers stumbled into the playoffs following an injury-riddled campaign that included seeing Nash sidelined for 32 games, has Mike D’Antoni considering ways to preserve his veteran point guard for the duration of the season.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

According to Nash, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is considering adopting a model similar to how San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich coaches Tim Duncan by giving him games off to rest throughout the season even when he is healthy.

“Mike mentioned it to me,” Nash told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday during a sit-down interview on the eve of the first day of Lakers training camp. “I’m open to it. Obviously I’m not the type of guy that’s going to look at the schedule and see which games I can miss — that’s never occurred to me — but if there’s a way that we can make the season better by missing a game here and there, I’m open to it.”

The Lakers added Jordan Farmar this summer, who along with Steve Blake should be able to take plenty of the weight from Nash’s shoulders in terms of capably running the offense while he gets some rest. Managing minutes will be key for the Lakers this season, who appear to be deeper overall even though the talent drop-off is relatively steep once you get past the team’s top-three players.

The Gregg Popovich model of randomly sitting his stars can be frustrating to fans, and may even seem controversial at times. But you can’t argue with the results — his veterans looked as sharp as ever in taking the eventual champion Heat to seven games in last season’s NBA Finals, and while the Lakers have no business with aspirations that high entering this season, they’d still like Nash to be playing at his highest level for as long as possible.

  1. dford6 - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Another fine example of NBC journalistic incompetence. Here’s an article written about a NBA player becoming the oldest player in the league, and the so-called journalist doesn’t even mention the age of the player. Unbelievable. No wonder our kids can’t write intelligent papers coming out of high school or college.

    • davidly - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      No wonder our kids can’t write intelligent papers coming out of high school or college.
      Are you aware of the irony of your having attributed a correlation between articles like this one and graduating pupils’ and students’ inability to write well?

      • dford6 - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        Are you aware that I was flagging the ongoing history of NBC journalistic incompetence? You are now.

      • davidly - Sep 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Are you aware that I was flagging the ongoing history of NBC journalistic incompetence?
        That’s much is clear. I’m just not sure how that leads to the conclusion in your last sentence.

      • casualcommenter - Sep 29, 2013 at 2:14 AM

        “That’s much is clear. I’m just not sure how that leads to the conclusion in your last sentence.”

        It’s simple.

        A random NBC sports blogger forgets to write something.
        Thus – THAT PROVES AN ENTIRE GENERATION IS A LOST CAUSE.

        If you’re old, that makes sense. Trust him.

    • chiadam - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      WAAAAA!! WAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      I think illiteracy was a problem long before this article was written this morning.

    • zuiyo - Sep 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      And that was a Brett Pollakoff piece, wait until you read something Kurt Helin wrote.

    • kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      No, what’s unbelievable is 27 numbskulls gave you thumbs up! Dude, this is a sports blog not a college text book. Mistakes happen!

  2. papichulo55 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Manu and Parker were definitely not ‘as sharp as ever’.

  3. larrybrown43 - Sep 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Just one more reason the NBA season is meaningless. It’s too long. The more games, the more watered down the more diluted the product. Are you listening Roger Goodell?

    • Anoesis - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      The heads of all the major sports leagues listen intently….To the bean-counters who tell them what the current profit margin is and how to increase it.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:47 PM

        As well they should…. It’s a business after all.

  4. csbanter - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    The Lakers are not good enough to have part time players. Why did they get Nash in the first place then ? He needs to play as many games as his body allows him.

  5. hildezero - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    “No wonder our kids can’t write intelligent papers coming out of high school or college.”

    Are you aware that there was a study recently done that shows that the younger generation are smarter and can wright better papers than before? Say… YOUR generation… Old timer. Geez.

    • dford6 - Sep 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      Are you aware that you just proved my case? It’s “write” not “wright” as you spelled it. Why don’t you post the link to that study to help prove your point? Also, are you aware that “back in the day” us “old timers” took math tests WITHOUT calculators. Sorry, but you’re not even close to being in my league intellectually. Note my correct spelling of “you’re” in the last sentence. Your generation likes to use “your” in place of “you are” Just trying to help you young bucks out!

  6. rushbacker - Sep 28, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    Lol! Yea, gotta keep him rested for the playoffs, which they won’t make.

    • ranfan12 - Sep 29, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Sure. People was wrong about them winning the championship this year and they can also be wrong about this missing the playoffs this year. That’s basketball lol

  7. kb2408 - Sep 28, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Whatever critics (mostly LAKERS haters) have to say, one thing can not be denied. For a slightly built, unheralded, white kid out of Canada, Nash has had an incredible career. Sadly, it appears he might not ever play for an NBA title. But he will go down as one of the best point guards ever and a surefire first ballot HOF’er.

    • 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      What you talkin’ ’bout Willis, he’s signed past this season. LAKERS 2015 NBA champs! Golum will find his Precious!

  8. antistratfordian - Sep 28, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    For what reason? To conserve him for the playoffs?

    jim_mora.gif

  9. 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Oh God no, that means more of the other Steve! **facepalm**

  10. 00maltliquor - Sep 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Hopefully coach is smart enough to play Farmar ahead of Blake in the PG rotation. I just don’t see it happening though. Steve Blake always seems to weasel his way into 20-24+ min. a night.

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