- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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LOS ANGELES -- The Mavericks front office’s fears for Steve Nash finally came true eight seasons, two MVPs and one franchise later.
The point guard’s body has broken down.
After a tremendously successful stint with the Phoenix Suns that followed his Dallas departure, Nash’s two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers have been extremely difficult. Injuries have limited the future Hall of Famer to 63 games, including only 13 this season as he dealt with nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings. Nash plans to play Friday night against the Mavs before probably shutting it down for the rest of the season and focusing on preparing for his 19th year in the NBA.
It’s been a hard thing for his best friend in the NBA to watch from afar.
“Well, he’s 40, so that doesn’t help,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who dined with Nash on Wednesday night. “But I mean, if he still loves to compete and thinks that he can get his body to a place where he can still compete at a high level, then I’m happy for him. It’s tough. You rehab a lot and then you play in a game. Next thing you know, you have some setbacks and then you’ve got to start all over again with the rehab.
“It’s tough, but it looks like he wants to try it again and I’m happy for him. I’m rooting for him. He’s obviously a very good friend of mine. I just hope his nerves or whatever are holding up and hopefully he can play another year.”
That’s Nash’s plan. It’s far from a certainty, but Nash at least has some optimism after not being able to sprint, much less play basketball, all last summer.
“I have no idea how my body is going to respond,” Nash said, “but I’m at least going to give it a shot.”