Lakers trainer Vitti on Steve Nash: 'Right now he's a green light'

Aug 1, 4:30 PM

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash's injury struggles last season included back problems and hamstring issues. While he worked hard to get past that, Lakers trainer Gary Vitti confirmed Nash's health is looking up.

"Right now, he's a green light," Vitti told Mike Trudell of Lakers.com, "things look better on July 31, 2014 than they did July 31, 2013."

Nash appeared in 15 games last season averaging 6.8 points per game. He never played less than 40 games in his previous 17 seasons. The 2014-15 season will likely be his last.

17h ago

Report: Lakers to apply for disabled player exception after Nash's injury

17h ago

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to create some flexibility in order to find a replacement for point guard Steve Nash, who is out for the season.

As reported by Bill Oram of the OC Register, the Lakers will apply for a disabled player exception, which would grant the Lakers $4.85 million - or half of Nash's 2014-15 salary - to acquire a player via free agency, trade or waiver claim.

The Lakers announced Thursday that Nash will miss the entire season with a degenerative nerve issue in his back. Without Nash, the Lakers' options at point guard are limited to Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price.

Feature photo courtesy of USA Today Sports/Kirby Lee

Oct 23, 9:41 PM

Lakers' Steve Nash will miss 2014-15 season due to recurring back injury

Oct 23, 9:41 PM

In what signals the likely end of a marvelous, Hall-of-Fame career, Lakers point guard Steve Nash has been ruled out for the 2014-15 season due to recurring nerve damage in his back.

The Lakers confirmed the news on their official Twitter page Thursday night, before releasing the following statement:

The 40-year-old, two-time MVP has played 18 NBA seasons, averaging 14.3 points and 8.5 assists. He ranks 31st all-time in games played (1,217), third in assists (10,335), ninth in three-point percentage (42.8) and first in free-throw percentage (90.4).

He's one of only six players in NBA history (along with Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant) to record a season with 50-40-90 shooting splits. Bird achieved the feat twice. The others each did it once. Nash did it four times.

After 16 mostly healthy seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns (who drafted him in 1996 and brought him back as a free agent in 2004), Nash's brief stint with the Lakers has been disastrous.

In 2012, he joined Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Paul Gasol on a team that was expected to allow Nash to capture that elusive NBA title. Instead, the team struggled to gel, Nash struggled to stay on the court, and the Lakers squeaked into the playoffs before getting blown to bits in the first round.

Last season was even worse, as the nerve damage in Nash's aging back worsened, limiting him to just 15 games as the Lakers free-fell to a 27-55 finish, the second-worst in franchise history.

Nash came to training camp seemingly healthy this season (the last of his three-year, $28-million deal with the Lakers), saying it would be the last of his career. He claimed to feel loose and free in team scrimmages, but had to leave a preseason game just over a week ago with discomfort before tweaking his back while carrying his bags after practice.

Call it bad luck or call it age. Call it Suns devil magic. Whatever the reason, since Nash has come to Hollywood, he's caught bad break after bad break.

According to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times, Nash hasn't decided for certain if he'll indeed call it quits, but it's hard to imagine him bouncing back next year at age 41, provided anyone even offers him a contract.

If he does retire, he'll have one glaring piece of hardware missing from his mantle, and he'll be just the second player in NBA history to win multiple MVP awards without ever winning a championship.

Oct 18, 6:31 PM

Injured Steve Nash says 'there is some improvement' from last year

Oct 18, 6:31 PM

Steve Nash hasn't practiced with the Lakers since exiting a preseason game last week and then tweaking his back carrying bags. 

Though, the 40-year-old said Saturday that his issues aren't as bad as last season.

"I expected things to happen. It's inevitable with everything I've gone through that there's going to be issues adapting back to the game," Nash said, according to ESPN LA's Baxter Holmes.

"On the other hand, I did get through seven or eight hard days well, which I didn't do last year. So there is some improvement, and if I can adapt continually once I heal up here, I'll be back on course."

"Eventually you've got to play; that's what we're here for," Nash added. "I've definitely had a struggle the last week, but I think I (need to) stay optimistic and see what I can do this week to get better and get back on the court."

Nash has missed 99 games over the last two seasons due to leg, back, and nerve issues, and the oldest active NBA player has already said that he believes this will be his last season.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said that the team was optimistic after seeing Nash in training camp. "He did look great, unbelievable shape, just moving up and down the floor with what seems like no hitch whatsoever," Scott said.

"Obviously everybody here is disappointed, nobody more disappointed than Steve Nash."

Scott added that while he doesn't know what the future holds for Nash, "The one thing I do know, like I said, in talking to him, [is] he wants to play. He wants to play badly."

Oct 16, 8:04 AM

Lakers' Nash tweaks back, suffers setback

Oct 16, 8:04 AM

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash is causing harm to his back even when he's not on the court. 

Nash tweaked his chronically-ailing back Wednesday, according to the Lakers' official Twitter feed, and ESPN's Baxter Holmes added that the 40-year-old suffered the setback while lifting bags

The 18-year veteran has been slowed by back problems for years, a big reason why offseason acquisition Jeremy Lin is expected to win the starting point guard job. 

"It's a concern because, from my standpoint, I've got to kind of figure out if he's going to be able to play every other day or not," head coach Byron Scott said Wednesday.

Lin, meanwhile, is dealing with injury issues of his own. He was held out of practice Wednesday and is not expected to play in Thursday's preseason game after spraining his ankle over the weekend. Lin did some running Wednesday, however, and the injury doesn't appear to be something that will keep him out long. 

Oct 13, 8:38 AM

Lakers' coach on Steve Nash asking out of game: 'He just wasn't feeling quite right'

Oct 13, 8:38 AM

The Steve Nash health carousel is confusing and frustrating.

Nash opened training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers in good spirits and good health. He tweaked his ankle in an early practice, and his workload was monitored closely, but things seemed to be moving in a positive direction for the league's oldest player.

On Sunday night, though, Nash had to ask out of the team's preseason game against the Golden State Warriors. The Canadian point guard had played the entire first quarter, but then requested his own removal, citing vague discomfort.

Lakers head coach Byron Scott explained Nash's request to ESPN Los Angeles after the game:

We talked a little bit before the game, and he said he just wasn’t feeling quite right. But he wanted to play, he wanted to give it a try. After the first quarter he said, ‘Coach, you know what, I’m done.’ 

I don’t know what’s really going on with him, but he said he didn’t feel quite right.

The Lakers don't play another preseason game until Thursday, so Nash and the team have a few days to re-evaluate. The ambiguity of the injury is of some concern considering the nerve issues Nash has suffered through over the past two years, limiting him to just 15 games last season.

Here's hoping all's well with the elder statesman of the NBA.

Sep 23, 5:28 PM

Report: Steve Nash 'has looked good,' nerve issue has improved

Sep 23, 5:28 PM

The 2013-14 season was an incredibly disappointing one for Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers, fans of either, and writers who had to constantly update Nash's oft-deteriorating health status.

The hope for all involved is that 2014-15 - likely the Canadian point guard's final tour through the league - will be a better one. And early indications are that there's reason for optimism ahead of Lakers camp.

Based on a series of tweets from Mike Trudell of Lakers.com on Tuesday, Nash has looked very good in early team scrimmages and that the nerve issue he dealt with last season has improved. The nerve issue arose after Nash suffered a broken leg in 2012, wreaking havoc on any number of body parts in the time since and requiring consistent rehabilitation.

It's not even preseason yet, so be cautious with any optimism. But this is far better news than no news or, as has been the case with Nash the last while, bad news.

Here's hoping the 40-year-old can stay healthy enough to have a final season more befitting a player of his talent, performance, and influence over the past two decades.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Jayne-Kamin Oncea