- Sam Alipour
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You fill several voids for LA. Rank them in order of importance: locker room leader; a yin to Kobe Bryant's yang; knockdown three-point guy; facilitator.
NASH: I think anytime a player can be a resource for younger guys coming up, that's a value add, so I think I'll put "locker room guy" up front. That's a part of the game I've always really enjoyed. After that, I think facilitator, if that's what Mike Brown is looking for from me. Kobe's been doing pretty well without me, but I do think I can help.
As an incoming Laker, are you expected to put a call in to Jack Nicholson?
NASH: I'd love to ... but I'm not sure Jack's giving me his number any time soon.
You like to push the pace and freewheel, but the Lakers are pretty old and reliant on half-court sets. How do you see the offense playing out?
NASH: I think we'll have great balance. We can rebound, so we can run, but in the halfcourt we have plenty of post-up players, Kobe's shot-making and isolation abilities, and my experience in pick-and-rolls. The team has two of the most dominant big men in the game. Pau [Gasol] is just a force, and you get the feeling he hasn't peaked.
Your back troubles are well documented. Has a minutes limit been discussed?
NASH: We haven't yet. Not to jinx anything, but I feel great.
For many years you were a thorn in LA's side, but you're already a legend here after accepting a Keystone from the "LA Beer Guys" on a freeway. What was going through your head as that was happening?
NASH: It was great - just a carload of appreciative fans who managed to safely execute a timely table service. It should be noted that I was not driving, the can was handed to me by a passenger in the other car and we had all safely slowed down. And no animals were injured in the making of this movie. It was cool that it was so spontaneous.
Did you drink the beer?
NASH: No comment.
In ESPN The Magazine, Sam Alipour catches up with new Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash to chat about Jack Nicholson and the LA Beer Guys.