Believe it or not, there is actually some news regarding the Los Angeles Lakers that doesn’t have to do with the accumulating losses or the slight possibility that Kobe Bryant could reunite with Phil Jackson in New York later this season.
Steve Nash took to Facebook to answer criticism from overzealous fans, while the team doesn’t appear all that interested in landing a specific point guard to play a role off the bench.
With that in mind, here is some of the latest new from Los Angeles.
Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times passed along an update on Nash:
This past week, Nash posted a brief video on Instagram, no longer available, of himself whacking a golf ball at a driving range.
A number of Laker fans took exception, wondering how Nash was able to swing a golf club given his inability to stay healthy for most of his three-year contract with the team.
On Friday night, Nash released an open letter on Facebook, opening up to the team's fans about his personal struggles to stay healthy.
Nash was ruled out for the season with chronic nerve issues in his back and may be leaning toward retirement if he can’t fully recover.
In the letter, Nash details how much pain he is in and how difficult it is to do everyday things such as sleep and ride in the car. He also describes his grueling rehab process and how badly he wants to play basketball and make the Los Angeles fans proud in the final chapter of his career.
Perhaps most importantly, he points out what should be rather obvious to any rational fan: It’s a lot easier to hit a golf ball at a driving range than to keep up with Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving on the basketball court. After all, there’s a reason that some of those criticizing Nash online have played recreational golf before but not an NBA basketball game.
Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports had some rather harsh words for Lakers fans who were taking the time to criticize Nash:
It is somewhat understandable for Laker fans to be upset with the team’s winless season thus far, even if the franchise hasn’t had to endure as much this deep into the season since the Eisenhower Administration.
Acting like complete and total pillocks on Steve Nash’s Instagram account – ranting at him because he’s making the sort of money Laker fans once were giddy that he signed to, acting as if the Lakers themselves weren’t culpable in keeping him around at that price, and criticizing a man for having a life outside of more painful procedures in working around his nerve damage – is the height of idiocy.
Sports certainly have a way of making us act irrationally at times, but Nash deserves the benefit of the doubt in this instance.
Looking for Another Point Guard?
David Pick of Eurobasket provided an update on the Lakers’ pursuit (or lack thereof) of another point guard:
Dwight Buycks reached a contract buyout agreement with Valencia BC in Spain and could certainly be an asset for an NBA team looking for point guard help.
He was undrafted out of Marquette but earned MVP honors in the French Pro-A League and was impressive in the NBA’s 2013 Summer League, averaging 23 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
“It definitely wasn’t an easy route, but sometimes you have to make adjustments. I had to take what was given to me and I never stopped," he said. "I kept putting in the time, putting in the work and I think it eventually paid off — I finally made the NBA.”
Considering Nash is out for the season, it is somewhat surprising that the Lakers aren’t actively pursuing Buycks for depth purposes. Perhaps they will target another point guard down the line or simply settle for what they have, since this is something of a lost season anyway.
Buycks is a solid defender on the perimeter thanks to his quickness and would be a foil to Jeremy Lin off the bench, as Lin is known more for his offense.
Alas, it will probably be a different NBA team that finds out whether Buycks can still play at the highest level.
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