Congrats to the Great @SteveNash on passing me on the All Time Assist list! I’m Honored!! God Bless #4
— Mark Jackson (@MarkJackson13) April 9, 2014
Only two players in history have handed out more assists than Steve Nash.
— Chris Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) April 9, 2014
While the potential first ballot hall of famer adds yet another accolade to his resume, is this the last time we will see Nash…not only in a Lakers uniform, but playing in the NBA?
Coach Mike D’Antoni expressed doubt that Nash will continue beyond the 2013-14 season (I know, quite ironic given D’Antoni’s situation for him to express doubt about anyone’s job right now) in a Laker jersey let alone the NBA. The nerve damage in Nash’s back as well as hamstring problems have sidelined him for a large part of the season to a point where it is logical to question whether he will finish the year left in his current contract.
D’Antoni nearly etched it all in stone for Nash’s career after the game against the Rockets. “It’s too bad everything comes to an end, and he’s had a great career,” D’Antoni said, calling himself “lucky” numerous times to have been given the opportunity to coach Nash. Although Steve Nash was said to be ‘shut down’ a number a weeks ago for the season, it can also be said that maybe the reason for his return was to simply accomplish securing the third sport on the all-time assist list as his final goal as an NBA player. As even in his pursuit of topping the great Mark Jackson, Nash’s body struggled to get through the 13 minutes of playing time he received.
While D’Antoni came very near to saying it was the end for Nash, Nash, himself came close to validating the claim. “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,” said Nash.
Further proof that we may have seen Nash pop the proverbial cork on a career well done was his special guest for the Rockets-Lakers game, Bobby Perez, an 18-year-old cancer survivor who flew from Atlanta to watch Nash make history. “I really was inspired by his fight through his chemotherapy, and I really wanted to break it with him here,” said Nash of moving past Jackson.
Through a summer to a season filled with injuries and a team in dismay for the most part, Nash perhaps is preparing to make the best of what he has left in the tank by accomplishing one more feat. And, he again, has succeeded. Job well done.