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Mike D’Antoni implies Steve Nash’s career is over

Apr 9, 2014, 1:07 PM EDT

Mike D'Antoni, Steve Nash Mike D'Antoni, Steve Nash

Last night, Steve Nash passed Mark Jackson for third all time in assists. But Nash also left the Lakers’ loss to the Rockets with a hamstring injury (perhaps lending credence to his theory).

After the game, Nash was blunt about what the injury means.

Nash, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

“Since I had a pretty good setback today, I probably won’t play again [this season],” Nash said after the game. “But if I get a good recovery over the next week, I’d love to play again. But again, a big goal for me was to not go into the summer injured, and the fact that I had a setback today is kind of frustrating. But hopefully it’s something that I can work through quickly here, and if I work through quick enough, I’d love to play again. But it’s probably doubtful.”

Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni wasn’t quite as straight forward, but he sure raised the stakes. D’Antoni, via McMenamin:

“It’s too bad everything comes to an end, and he’s had a great career,” D’Antoni said after the game, adding several times he felt “lucky” to have coached the eight-time All-Star in both Phoenix and L.A.

D’Antoni would not definitively draw the curtain on Nash’s career, however.

“I don’t think anybody, they can’t tell that,” D’Antoni said. “He’ll try, I’m sure. A lot of it’s mentally, whether he can do it mentally, because it’s going to take a lot, a lot of work and some luck and then the franchise and the management and Steve will sit down and they’ll make that determination.”

Even though D’Antoni walks it back, “It’s too bad everything comes to an end, and he’s had a great career” is a strange quote.

Nash has made no secret about his desire to return next season. I can’t see this changing that.

He wants that $9.7 million salary, and whether or not he retires is his decision.

If Nash comes back, he’s under contract. The Lakers would have to pay him, whether or not he’s physically capable of playing.

If Nash retires, it’s his prerogative to let the Lakers off the hook and sacrifice his money. But why would he do that?

D’Antoni might be seeing just Nash’s age (40) hand how much pain the point guard is in. Based on those factors, Nash retiring is a logical conclusion.

The financial details of the situation, though, point in a much different direction.

  1. chargerdillon - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Thank you Mr. D’Antoni with news of the obvious

  2. harshedmellow - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    The body is a complex interlocking puzzle, and when it gets brittle and starts failing, the failures cascade into other parts of the machine.

    This is why Kobe is essentially done, too. The cascade has started for him, big time. An Achilles is a huge canary in the coal mine type of injury; it doesn’t JUST mean that leg is forever screwed, for an elite NBA guard at least…. it changes his movement patterns, his muscle memory, and leads to overcompensation and overuse injuries elsewhere. Knees (check), ankles, back….. just watch.

    Thank GOD the Lakers are paying Kobe and Nash a combined $30 mil next season. The Lakers getting b!tch-slapped makes this card-carrying Hater very happy, and paying two broken old guys that kind of scratch means major suckage next year too. Praise Jeebus.

    • Professor Fate - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      I sincerely hope you have something in your life that brings you pleasure besides wetting yourself over the decline of a basketball team. Your super-sized schadenfreude makes you seem immature and petty.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        It doesn’t count as schadenfreude in sports. I say that because the very nature of sports is schadenfreude. There’s no such thing as doing well in sports unless it’s at another’s expense. Real life isn’t like that; we could all be doing well. So that’s when schadenfreude kicks in, when you want someone to fail just because it makes you feel better.

    • shuttaman1990 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      You want to fight me?
      I’ll fight you brah, DON’T YOU TALK ABOUT KOBE LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN FIGHT ME
      FIGHT ME!!!
      I MIGHT NOT BE STRONG BUT I GOT HEART
      Lakers all day!

      • eugenesaxe1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        Shut up.

      • purdueman08 - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:29 AM

        Why fight on the net? It’s pointless. Nothing scary about all caps.

    • therealhtj - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      I’m sure if there is a god, he’s got better things to attend to than making sure petty haters lives are a tiny bit better because a team that’s been stomping theirs for decades is in a momentary decline.

      Kudos to you good sir – now get off the Internet and back to your TPS reports.

  3. Professor Fate - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    “It’s too bad everything comes to an end, and he’s had a great career,” D’Antoni said…

    You’re reading too much into that. Everything does, indeed, come to an end sooner or later, but that doesn’t mean D’Antoni meant to imply Nash would never play again. Nash has, indeed, had a great career, but that also does not mean it is over except for this season.

  4. timb12 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Is this the same guy who said Nash was done for the season a couple of weeks back? I’m taking what he said to the bank!

  5. sellahh - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    still. a. bum.

  6. romestar82 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Mike’s parents never had to worry about their child bringing home D’s on the report card

    Mike always skipped D’ on the alphabet

    Mike Antoni was his given birth name he added a D’ to solidify his resume

    Defense for Dummies was published for Mike’s Coaching abilities

  7. au1978 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Nash is clearly one of the all-time great point guards. But seeing him run up and down the court last night made me feel sorry for him. Don’t get me wrong–he still has game in him. But there is absolutely NO reason that an almost 40-year old should be forced to run up and down the court like that. I’m not shocked at all that he re-injured himself. D’Antoni should go coach college basketball, b/c his sytem is designed for 20 somethings.

    • sellahh - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      There are, what, exactly 9 million reasons that an almost 40-year old should be forced to run up and down the court like that. He wants to get paid, he should better play or else his contract should be voided. One of the greatest point guards ever, whoop de do, for 5 years maybe.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      Nash himself says he doesn’t want to end his career with two injury plagued years in a row.
      He also has a $10 million paycheck waiting for him if he plays.

      Those are 2 pretty good reasons for him to try to play again. Pride and paycheck.

  8. chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    I implied his career was over before the Lakers stupidly signed him.

  9. rrhoe - Apr 9, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Steve Nash’s career was over long before he joined the Lakers.

    • therealhtj - Apr 9, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Debatable. It was definitely over shortly after though.

  10. felisberto - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Still Jeremy Lin > Steve Nash.
    top 10 PG
    1Jeremy Lin
    2Magic Johnson
    3Isaiah Thomas
    4Joe Dumars
    5Tony Parker
    6John Stockton
    7Kevin Johnson
    8Gary Payton
    9Jason Kidd
    16Steve Nash(the only player never reach the finals,or championship)

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