It's Time for Steve Nash to Step Away

Published on 13-Nov-2013 by Towner Park

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Opinion

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It's Time for Steve Nash to Step Away

Steve Nash has had quite the NBA career.

No one can deny how successful he's been, playing general for three NBA teams, most notably Phoenix and Dallas. His time with the Suns was prolific. For a dude of such a small stature, his vigor was uncanny. His achievements are Hall of Fame worthy, with eight All-star selections accompanied by two well-deserved MVP awards.

Expectations were high once the Lakers signed Nash for the 2012-2013 season. Teaming up with Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol was supposed to be a highlight film waiting to happen. However, due to a slew of injuries, that success never came to fruition. With Howard's effort being questioned and with Nash missing 30-plus games due to a broken leg, the Lakers were mediocre at best, even with the Big Four patroling the court.

Now Nash is dinged again. This time, it's a nerve root irration in his chronically cranky back.

It seems that Father Time has caught up to the 39-year-old point guard. His body is obviously breaking down, and its been quite evident over the past two years that Steve Nash isn't the same Steve Nash of old.

Frankily, even when he does play, Nash is a liability on defense. His passing isn't as crisp as it once was, and his overall speed is 'way too slow to keep up with the influx of lightning quick point guards the NBA offers night in and night out. These regressions shouldn't be a surprise; athletes can't stay on top forever.

Managing an aging and declining superstar can be a touchy subject for head coaches. It's also one of the most antagonizing aspects sports for an athlete, who knows it's time to step away but can't seem to do it. Only a handful have gone out on top; Ted Williams and Sandy Koufax did it in the baseball world, as did Jim Brown and Barry Sanders in football. Like Koufax, Bobby Orr actually had no choice, but Ken Dryden hung up the pads while collecting another Stanley Cup ring. Bill Russell did it playing and coaching his way to an eleventh NBA title.

But not even Michael Jordan could acknowledge the slide had begun. He made a mistake when he decided to come back for one last hurrah with the Wizards.

Hopefully, Nash will take his physical health into consideration and make a wise decision to retire in the near future. He has to understand that he isn't helping the Lakers. They're rebuilding -- although they won't admit it -- so Nash just needs to take a step back and realizehis time in the NBA is done.

His task now shoud be to make his Hall of Fame speech in one piece.