Archive for the 'Steve Nash' Category

Steve Nash: 2014 Exit Interview

IMG_0520For the second straight season, Steve Nash battled nerve root irritation problems stemming from a broken leg suffered during the 2012-13 campaign and appeared in just 15 games (10 starts) overall towards averages of 6.8 points and 5.7 assists on 38.3 percent field goals and 33.3 percent on three-pointers. Despite being sidelined most of the year, Nash passed Mark Jackson for third all-time in assists in NBA history in his final game of the 2013-14 season vs. Houston.

- On his exit meeting:
“Mitch (Kupchak) has been incredibly supportive of me. Obviously it’s been disappointing for all of us, and particularly, my situation has been a nightmare. The whole organization and Mitch has been incredibly supportive and classy. They appreciated how hard I worked to get back and hopefully I’ll be back next year.”

- On if there was a time where he doubted whether he could continue to play:
“There was a period where I couldn’t get healthy. I played six or seven games to begin the season and I didn’t play well at all. I wondered if that was it. I proved I can still play, but it’s a matter of whether I can sustain it or not.”

- On whether he knows he’ll be able to sustain his play consistently over the duration of an 82-game season:
“I’m going to try and figure that out this summer. In my mind, I think I’ll be in camp. I don’t take anything for granted these days. I want to put myself in a position where I can compete.” Nash noted he was on the court a lot last summer trying to get healthy, but couldn’t sprint for five months. It wasn’t until late August or September that he could do that.

- On why he still plays/what he is playing for:
“The games I played recently I had so much fun. I would’ve loved to play some more. I just wanted to play and wanted to take advantage of every chance I got.”

- On if he’s nervous about the future:
“We’ve hit the bottom. We had championship aspirations and nothing has gone right, individually and collectively, but not from a lack of want and trying. Sometimes you have to take your shots and keep fighting. You can’t always be on top. You can’t quit when you’re done and we’re in this situation. I’m not nervous. I would love to be on the court fighting and giving the team what I can during this transition.”

Nash Now Third in All-Time Assists

nash_graphicAt the 2:13 mark of the second quarter in L.A.’s game against Houston on April 8, Steve Nash fed Jodie Meeks for a dunk in transition to give him career assist number 10,335, passing Mark Jackson (10,334) and placing him third all-time in NBA history.

He played 13 minutes off the bench, recorded three points, five assists and three rebounds. Nash now trails only John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091) on the career assists list.

Injury Update: Farmar, Gasol, Kaman and Nash

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles LakersLakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemHere’s an update on several Lakers who missed Sunday’s game in advance of Tuesday’s matchup with Houston.

Injury Update: Gasol, Henry and Nash

ts_140324xavierhenry670Lakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemPau Gasol, who did not play the second half vs. Orlando because of dizziness and nausea, is being considered doubtful for Tuesday’s game vs. New York.

Should Gasol not be able to play tomorrow, coach Mike D’Antoni said Chris Kaman would start in his place.

Henry Expected to Play Through Pain

Another Laker who is battling an injury of his own is Xavier Henry, who injured his left wrist on a fall during the third quarter vs. Washington. Henry maintains he will play through the pain, however.

“I was going to play anyway,” Henry said. “The good news is it’s (torn). I feel like with that mindset, I can’t do too much worse to it, so now it’s just go out there and be myself.”

The Kansas product said he feels discomfort, regardless of whether he’s on the court or not, but believes there is no reason to sit out as long as he can tolerate it.

“(I feel pain) all day,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if I have the ball or if I don’t. It hurts. If I can play with it, I’m going to play.”

Nash’s Return Questionable
Steve Nash, who returned vs. Washington after being sidelined the previous 15 games, also did not suit up on Sunday.

He has played in 11 games overall this year, battling the same nerve issues since last year after fracturing his lower leg in the second game at Portland on Halloween.

“We’ll check and see tomorrow, but probably doubtful at this time just to be cautious,” D’Antoni said. “He worked out on his own (today). He said he’s feeling better, but doesn’t know. He’ll push a little bit tomorrow morning and then we’ll make a decision.”

Steve Nash: The Finish Line

Since breaking his leg in just his second game with the Lakers, Steve Nash has been fighting a battle against his own body to get back onto the floor at, or at least near, an evasive level that used to come so easily.

Grantland took an in-depth look at both the mental and physical challenges Nash continues to face.

Injury Update: Xavier Henry

140212xavierhenry500Lakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemXavier Henry will have his right knee drained of fluid today and receive a cortisone shot. He is expected to be out approximately four weeks.

Henry originally injured the knee on Dec. 29 vs. Philly. He has been sidelined for the team’s last 21 games, although he has been working out on his own and with some of the Lakers training staff.

Steve Blake, who hyperextended his elbow vs. Utah, expects to play on Thursday vs. Oklahoma City. Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), who did not play in the second half of Tuesday’s game, plans to sit out.

Nash Sits Out Second Half vs. Utah

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles LakersLakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemFor the second straight game, Steve Nash exited early because of nerve root irritation. He did not play in the second half after logging 17 first-half minutes.

Nash was forced to leave the Lakers-Bulls game with five minutes in the third quarter after making contact with Kirk Hinrich near the same spot where he suffered the original lower left leg fracture last season.

He went through the non-physical portion of practice on Monday and acknowledged he felt much better, good enough to where he was able to suit up vs. Utah.

He played in six of the Lakers first eight games to begin the 2013-14 season before being sidelined the next 39 contests. He returned on the team’s three-game road trip starting at Minnesota and at Philly, totaling 26 points and 14 assists.

Nash Expects to Play Tuesday vs. Utah

ts_140210nash670Steve Nash went through the non-physical portion of practice on Monday with the team, then received treatment from the training staff. He fully expects to play vs. Utah on Tuesday, unless he is at risk of injuring himself more, both in the short term and long term.

“There’s no reason to sit out if it’s better tomorrow, and I feel pretty good,” he said. “But if it is an issue, then I’m definitely not going to try to jeopardize it any further.”

In addressing the media, Nash acknowledged the nerve is still a little irritated, although he felt much better in the morning.

Nash exited the Lakers-Bulls game on Sunday in the third quarter, after making contact with Kirk Hinrich. He tried playing through it, but left for good because of “precautionary reasons.”

“I wasn’t that scared initially because it was such an innocuous play,” Nash said. “It didn’t really hurt that much on the contact. When I tried to push off, I felt the nerve really light up. Kind of frustrating more than anything. It’s something that we can – I hope – get under control quickly here because it doesn’t feel like something that’s too serious.”

Nash played two of the three games – at Minnesota and at Philly – on the Lakers most recent road trip. He had a game-high 19 points, to go along with five assists and four rebounds on his 40th birthday at Philly. Prior, he had been sidelined 42 games, working constantly with the Lakers training staff, while making multiple trips to Vancouver to work with his personal trainer/physical therapist.

“It’s been a tough road,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of things to overcome, but you have to have a fighting mentality and spirit, and not let it get on top of you.”

Injury Update: Steve Nash

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles LakersLakers Injury Report sponsored by UCLA Health SystemSteve Nash exited the Lakers-Bulls game with five minutes remaining in the third quarter with nerve irritation, according to Lakers PR. He did not return, finishing with eight points, two rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes.

“I think he’ll be OK on Tuesday,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’ll see. Just a freak bump of knees and his back started tightening up a little bit.”

Postgame, Nash explained he made contact with Kirk Hinrich in the same spot the nerve root issue had bothered him before.

“That nerve flared up and I started to compensate,” Nash said. “I wasn’t going to be very effective and I wasn’t going to risk going back on all that work I’ve done to get back on the court.”

Nash returned at Minnesota on Feb. 4, his first game action since Nov. 10, finishing with nine points and seven assists. He sat out the next night at Cleveland (rest), but played at Philly on his 40th birthday, recording a game-high 19 points, to go along with five assists and four rebounds.

“We know the player he was and the player he is now,” Kendall Marshall said. “He’s still a great player. We’ve seen the last game. But first and foremost, we want him to be healthy. We still look to him as a leader on this team, whether he’s on the court or not, and we hope he gets back (soon).”

Nash Finds Joy in Playing Again

Los Angeles Lakers  v Philadelphia 76ersSteve Nash took one hard dribble to his left, stopped on a dime, put the ball behind his back and lost his defender in the process for an easy lay-up.

That hoop was part of his game-high 19 points that helped lead the Lakers to a 112-98 victory at Philly on his 40th birthday. It was Nash’s second contest back after missing nearly three months because of nerve root irritation.

He became the first player age 40 or older to be a game’s leading scorer since Michael Jordan led all scorers with 25 points in Washington’s win at Miami on Apr. 11, 2003.

“It feels amazing,” Nash said postgame. “It’s been a tough run for me in L.A. I’ve just never been healthy and I’ve put so much time in trying to repay the Lakers for bringing me in and the fans for being patient. Just to be able to move freely the last two games (at Minnesota, at Philly) has been a lot of fun for me and made it all worth it.”

Since Nash was acquired in the summer of 2012, he’s suited up a total of 58 games for the purple and gold. He missed a combined 32 regular-season contests last season, all stemming from a lower leg fracture suffered in the second game of the year at Portland.

Nash played just six games this year before being sidelined for another 42. All the while, he worked and rehabbed constantly, whether on his own, with Lakers training staff members or alongside his personal trainer/physical therapist in Vancouver.

For a shot at playing the game again before his career winds down.

“That’s what I kept saying to people through all this,” he explained. “A lot of people said: ‘Why don’t you just retire?’ For me just to feel it again, to feel in control out there, to be a part of a team, to make a play for your teammates and to win a game on the road, those are all the things I wanted to feel again before it’s all over.”

He looked to be the Nash of old, the player selected to eight All-Star games and the player once voted a two-time MVP. He whipped a behind-the-back bounce pass to Wesley Johnson in the corner for a three-pointer, he weaved around a screen, found a spot at the elbow and – fading away – released a high-arching shot that found the bottom of the net. Even though his body wouldn’t sometimes cooperate, the dribbling, passing and shooting never betrayed him.

“I tried to do as much as I could to work around my injury and keep my skills as sharp as possible and stay in the best condition I could be knowing I couldn’t do everything,” Nash said. “I worked really, really hard so when I did get the opportunity to be healthy, I could adapt to the game as quickly as possible. All that work I put in seems to have paid off.”

Nash understands it’s been just two games, and that his injury is a tricky issue to deal with. But thus far, he’s pleased with how his body has responded and what he’s been able to do on the court.

“Nothing is guaranteed considering the state of health I’ve had,” he said. “But to be on top of it right now, to be playing, to be contributing, it feels great.”