THE SANTA CLARA
October 30, 2014
It’s safe to say Steve Nash’s career is over. The former Bronco and point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers is out for the 2014-2015 season with a recurring back injury, aggravated by carrying luggage at the Los Angeles International Airport.
News of his injury broke Oct. 24, but NBA athletes still haven’t finished weighing in on what looks to be the end of Nash’s career. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have both offered their sympathy to the Canadian superstar.
Bryant told ESPN reporter Arash Markazi that Nash “did everything to get back and play at a high level. From that standpoint he should be able to sleep at night.” Bryant himself is coming off of an injury.
“You just have to accept it and when you lay your head down you know that you did absolutely everything possible,” he said.
James expressed similar concern when he talked to Cleveland-based sports analyst, Chris Haynes.
“You hate to see anyone have the game taken away because of an injury and especially a talent like that,” James said. “Over his career, he’s always kept his body in shape. We all knew that, and for his body to fail him at a time where he feels he still has something to give to the game, it sucks.”
Nash deserves every compliment sent his way. The Santa Clara alumnus began his career in the league in 1996 and won back-to-back MVP titles in 2005 and 2006 during his time playing for the Phoenix Suns.
Although he never won an NBA Championship, Nash made himself a household name with his unselfish play and deadly shooting skills. He might not be the flashiest player in the league but his stats reveal his all-star abilities.
He belongs to the “50-40-90 club,” defined by Haynes as a group of players who shot 50 percent or better from the field, 40 percent or higher from the three-point line and had a 90 percent or above free throw percentage by the end of a season.
Nash is in good company, too. Members of the 50-40-90 club include Dirk Nowitzki, Reggie Miller, Larry Bird and most recently, Kevin Durant.
However, aside from Bird, Nash is the only NBA player to repeat the 50-40-90 feat over multiple seasons.
With Nash out for the rest of the season, the Lakers will look to Jeremy Lin to fill the role of starting point guard.
Lin lacks the experience Nash has and his play is inconsistent compared to the veteran, but a spot in Los Angeles’ starting five will give him the opportunity to hone his game.
Lin has the star power and promise the Lakers are looking for, but he’ll never dole out assists or sink threes effortlessly like Nash.
There will never be anybody who can play the game quite like Nash did.
Claire McLoughlin is a sophomore English major.