Trans. Oct 24 3:29 ET (Oct 24 3:29 ET ) When the Lakers traded four draft picks to sign Steve Nash, his new teammates couldn't wait to talk about what might happen when Nash began distributing the ball to the likes of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. A day after Nash's season - and possibly his career - ended before the regular season opener there wasn't much said at all about the point guard who never played enough to make a difference in Los Angeles. We haven't talked about it at all,'' Lakers coach Byron Scott said Friday. You send out well wishes and then try to move on.'' That didn't mean Scott didn't have some compassion for the 40-year-old Nash, who announced jointly with the Lakers on Thursday that he would miss his 19th season in the league because of a back injury.
Later this month, Paul Pierce will play his first game as a member of the Washington Wizards, which is nearly as weird as what he did 12 months ago, when he played his first game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. His former teammate in Brooklyn and Boston, Kevin Garnett, still plays in Brooklyn, still working in a Nets uniform that looks as weird on him now as the Celtics uniform that looked super-weird on him in 2007 after KG donned it following 12 seasons in a Minnesota Timberwolves uniform. Kevin Love, meanwhile, will sport a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform this season after half as many seasons as Garnett played in a Wolves uni, working alongside LeBron James in a Cavaliers uniform that almost immediately makes his four-year run in a Miami Heat uniform look truly weird. Weirdness abounds, as longtime stars jump from one team to another, especially as stalwarts like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki stick to the same team for the duration of their careers. That’s just how this league works, it’s how it’s always worked, and Paul Pierce wouldn’t mind it continuing to work that way. Via Pro Basketball Talk , here is an interview Pierce recently gave with the Associated Press: This is in no way a dig at Paul Pierce, who has enjoyed a fantastic, Hall of Fame career, but he is in a tier of star just below the Kobe/Tim/Dirk triptych mentioned above. Pierce was nearly traded from the Celtics once things went sour in Boston during the middle of the last decade, and Pierce’s most closest contemporary – Vince Carter – is about to suit up for his sixth NBA team this season. Seventh, if you count the draft night trade that sent Carter from Golden State to Toronto. Most notably, Michael Jordan ended his career in a Wizards uniform. Oscar Robertson was dealt late in his career in a move that would be widely derided by cranks in the modern era as he attempted to chase a ring with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Milwaukee. Wilt Chamberlain was traded twice in his career and he would have ended his time as a player with an ABA team in San Diego had the courts not gotten in the way. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson never switched jerseys, but Moses Malone and Shaquille O’Neal combined to wear sixteen different pro uniforms over the course of their lengthy careers. Boston Celtics fans, as they gear up for yet another losing season, would love to see Paul Pierce back in a Celtics uniform, but in their hearts they know they don’t want Pierce taking minutes and shots away from developing youngsters, and they don’t mind their old hero attempting to play deep into the postseason once again for a potentially potent Washington Wizards squad. Both the Boston front office and Pierce’s own anxious feet feel the same. It’s a win-win. Before we laud Bryant, Duncan and Nowitzki for their commitment to their longtime teams (Bryant and Dirk were both drafted by other franchises and traded soon after), things could have turned out different for that trio. Kobe visited the Clippers and Bulls as a free agent even after he forced the Shaquille O’Neal move to Miami in 2004, and he very publicly demanded a trade in 2007. Tim Duncan was very close to signing with the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2000, and while Nowitzki never had much reason to leave Dallas, his onetime running partner Steve Nash left the Mavs in 2004 to play for a crummier team, only because they offered him more money. Players move. Superstar players move, even, and the teams they leave are sometimes (if not “often”) just fine with them moving. There’s a reason these guys get away, there’s a reason why Boston and Brooklyn passed on retaining Paul Pierce, and smart hometown fans understand this. It’s not a question of loyalty, because it is the team that would usually dump the player in a second if given the chance. It’s not a question of nouveau ethics, either, because these sorts of moves have been going on for decades. It’s how pro basketball works, and Paul Pierce is completely correct in his estimation that this is and will always be a good thing. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash may have played his last game in the NBA after being ruled out of the upcoming season because of a recurring back problem. The Lakers said Nash, 40, who has been strongly tipped to retire after the 2014-15 campaign, had been sidelined after meeting with team doctors who advised him to sit out the season. "As disappointed as we are for ourselves and our fans, we’re even more disappointed for Steve," said Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Thursday. "We know how hard he’s worked the last two years to try to get his body right for the rigours of the NBA, and how badly he wants to play, but unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to get there up to this point in time.
Steve Nash hoped for one more chance to show off his playmaking skills after fighting injuries and time for two miserable years with the Los Angeles Lakers. Nash will miss the entire season because of a back injury, the Lakers announced Thursday, putting the two-time NBA MVP point guard's career in doubt. The Lakers and the 40-year-old Nash announced their joint decision less than a week before the start of the regular season.