Is medical retirement in the future for Lakers Steve Nash?


Could Lakers Steve Nash be headed for medical retirement? Nash is out two weeks, suffering from nerve root irritation in his back. This developed last season when he broke his leg in the second game of the season. While the goal is for Nash to get healthy and return to the Lakers bench, after 18 seasons and at 39 years of age, should rehab stretch out, the thought of medical retirement surely has to be on the mind of execs in the Lakers franchise.

LA Times columnist Eric Pincus thinks it’s possible.

Should the Lakers’ back specialist, Dr. Robert Watkins, determine that any additional effort by Nash to play would constitute a medically unacceptable risk, the veteran point guard may end his career via forced medical retirement.

Nash is owed $9.3 million for the current year and $9.7 million for next season. If he’s found to be physically unable to play, he would still receive full compensation.

The NBA would then do its due diligence, sending a league-appointed physician to verify Watkins’ findings.

If the league would sign off, the final year of Nash’s contract would be completely removed from the Lakers’ salary cap — as long as he plays in fewer than 10 games this season.

Right now this is simply a theory, but the Lakers have to start looking to the future sooner than later. Lots of cap space money will come in handy as the team attempts to lure free agents to suit up in the purple and gold.