In recent days, Steve Nash faced a great deal of criticism for posting a short Instagram video on him swinging a golf club at a driving range. Los Angeles Lakers' coach Byron Scott defended Nash's right to live his life, but Nash has since taken the video down. On Friday night just shy of 9 p.m. Pacific Time, the Canadian addressed the backlash he faced in an open letter to Laker fans posted on his official Facebook page:
"I'm doing what I've always done which is share a bit of my off-court life in the same way everyone else does. Going forward I hope we all can refocus our energies on getting behind these Lakers. This team will be back and Staples will be rocking."
Prior to making the plea to fans, Nash described his injury in great detail so fans could understand why he was unable to play for the 2014-15 NBA season.
"I have a ton of miles on my back. Three buldging disks (a tear in one), stenosis of the nerve route and spondylolisthesis. I suffer from sciatica and after games I often can't sit in the car on the drive home, which has made for some interesting rides. Most nights I'm bothered by severe cramping in both calves while I sleep, a result of the same damn nerve routes, and the list goes on somewhat comically. That's what you deserve for playing over 1,300 NBA games. By no means do I tell you this for sympathy - especially since I see these ailments as badges of honor - but maybe I can bring some clarity."
Nash attempted to explain that swinging a golf club or even playing in a recreational basketball game in the park cannot compare to the physicality of a single NBA game.
"This may be hard for people to understand unless you've played NBA basketball, but there is an incredible difference between this game and swinging a golf club, hiking, even hitting a tennis ball or playing basketball at the park. Fortunately those other activities aren't debilitating, but playing an NBA game usually puts me out a couple of weeks. Once you're asked to accelerate and decelerate with Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving it is a completely different demand."
With over 18 years in the NBA, Nash's spirit failed to carry his body to year 19. Looking back at his surefire Hall-of-Fame career, one cannot help but feel sad about the way it ended.
"I want to play more than anything in the world," Nash states in his letter at one point. "I've lost an incredible amount of sleep over this disappointment."
However, Nash appears to be slowly recovering from the mental toll of working tirelessly to return to the Lakers and falling short in such a manner that his professional career is likely over. That is not an easy reality to face after nearly two decades in the profession and roughly 30 years playing the sport.
Local news from across Southern California
Nash will probably turn up kicking a soccer ball, shooting a basketball or doing something else active because he is one of the greatest athletes of his generation, but that should not hold any bearing on his affiliation with the Lakers or his passion for the sport.
At 40 years of age, the greatest Canadian basketball player of all time is no longer capable of playing in the NBA, but it certainly was not for want of trying.