Lakers point guard Nash retires after standout career

Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:08pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Two-time NBA most valuable player Steve Nash, one of the best point guards ever to play professional basketball, is retiring after a 19-year career, the Canadian said on Saturday.

The future Hall of Famer, a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, made the announcement in a letter published on The Players' Tribune website.

"The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much -- visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes," the 41-year-old Nash said.

An eight-time All-Star, Nash finished his career with 10,335 assists, the third most in NBA history.

His retirement was in many ways a mere formality as the point guard, beset by back problems, had been unable to play this season with the Lakers.

After a standout career with the Phoenix Suns, where he won MVP honors in 2005 and 2006, Nash had struggled in Los Angeles due to injuries, playing in only 65 games.

"When I signed with the Lakers, I had big dreams of lifting the fans up and lighting this city on fire," said Nash, who signed a three-year, $28 million deal with the franchise in 2012.

"I turned down more lucrative offers to come to L.A. because I wanted to be in the 'fire,' and play for high risk and high reward in my last NBA chapter. In my second game here, I broke my leg and nothing was the same."

A standout at Santa Clara University in California after attending high school in British Columbia, Nash was a first round draft choice of the Suns in 1996. He played two seasons with Phoenix and six with the Dallas Mavericks before returning to the Suns for the 2004-5 season.   Continued...

 
Feb 4, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) tries to steal the ball from Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash (10) in the fourth quarter at Target Center. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports