Steve Nash is officially retired. He’s not playing NBA basketball again this year or ever. But it is interesting to note that the Cleveland Cavaliers were still interested in the veteran point guard up until his official announcement. Had the Lakers bought out Nash, the Cavs were ready to sign him.
Instead, Nash remained loyal to the Lakers and simply walked away from the game, deeming his body unfit to play meaningful NBA minutes anymore.
Remember—LeBron James said back in October that he always wished he could have played with Nash in his prime. Sounds like James hadn’t entirely given up on bringing in Nash to mentor young PG Kyrie Irving and give the Cavs some key minutes off the pine.
From ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
As a bonus, in case he needs the pick-me-up, Nash can console himself with the knowledge that at least one pretty good basketball team still covets his services. League sources told ESPN.com earlier this month that LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers — who happen to have two of the biggest Nash admirers on Earth in their front office, in David Griffin and former teammate Raja Bell — let it be known to longtime Nash agent Bill Duffy that they would love to give the old man a whirl as a short-minute backup to Kyrie Irving if Nash wanted to seek a buyout after the trade deadline from whoever had him at that point.
No chance, though.
He only wanted to come back — and go out — as a Laker. He says he’s going to live where he is now “forever” and hoped he could give the locals something — anything — to repay the Lakers for bringing him to town and giving him the chance to stay near his three children, who all go to school mere steps from Nash’s house.
“In preseason, I did everything right,” he said. “I had a good camp. I came in maybe in the best shape on the deal. I played one preseason game and felt decent. I thought maybe I could get better from here. The next morning, I woke up, and I was a mess. … I just had to come to the realization that if I’m lucky, I’d play in 10 games this year.
“I think I can [still] have a great game. But I can’t do it more than once or twice a month.”