Steve Nash may not be wearing an NBA uniform today if it weren’t for the sign-and-trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers this past offseason.
“If L.A. wouldn’t have worked, I honestly think he would’ve considered retiring,” Duffy says. “He said that three or four times from July 1 to July 5 (during free agency), and I was saying, ‘If he wants to retire, I have to respect it, but let’s piece this thing together so you can get what you want and continue to play.’ “
Nash requested to be traded to Los Angeles in order to be close to his children, who live just a short flight away in Phoenix. He cited that as the No. 1 priority at this point in his career and life and no longer plays for the adulation or fanfare. He just wants to win.
Despite the Lakers’ tumultuous season to this point, he was complimentary of the organization and said his experience has been nothing but positive. Los Angeles is 28-29 on the season and 2.5 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot behind the Houston Rockets and not where anyone envisioned them being when Nash joined forces with Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant to begin their quest for an NBA title.
In 35 games this season, Nash has averaged 12.0 points and 7.1 assists. He’s picked up his scoring slightly since the All-Star break with a mark of 12.8 points as the Lakers continually try to tweak their offense to win games.