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Steve Nash made a triumphant return to the court earlier this week and celebrated his 40th birthday in style by becoming the first 40-year-old since Michael Jordan in 2003 to lead an NBA game in scoring.
However, despite the success the Canadian has seen so far – albeit only in two games – Nash may be planning to retire after this season is over.
According to Mitch Lawrence from the NY Daily News, Nash has been telling friends that “this is going to be it” despite there being one year left on his deal. Lawrence says that Nash missed the camaraderie of playing on a team and “wants to experience that for at least the last part of this season before he calls it a career.”
Nash is set to earn $9.7 million in the final year of his deal and how much the Lakers could owe him – and how much would count against their salary cap – would likely be determined by how and why Nash retires. For example, when Jason Kidd retired last year while having two seasons left on his contract with the New York Knicks, Kidd decided to forgo the remaining salary he was owed. This enabled the Knicks to wipe Kidd’s remaining salary off their books, according to The Knicks Blog.
It’s worth noting that there have already been whispers of Nash retiring in the past, though they didn’t amount to anything and the two-time MVP worked his way back into game shape in order to return to the court.
Still, it would make sense if Nash made this big push to finish this season at a high level in order to bow out of the game on his own terms. After all, coming back for another season as a soon-to-be 41-year-old could be risky to say the least.
It’s possible that Nash simply wants to go out on top, and I don’t think anyone would blame him for wanting to do that.