COMMENTARY | Steve Blake cut his foot in the most gruesome fashion when he stepped on a spike strip during the offseason, suffering an injury that should have kept him out of action for three weeks.
But as of Thursday, the 32-year-old NBA veteran rejoined his Los Angeles Lakers teammates in a shocking display of toughness and will after just 10 days. With that in mind, he obviously understands that the team won't let a position that caused a lot of problems in 2011-2012 be an issue any longer.
Enter Steve Nash, Chris Duhon and second-year point guard Darius Morris. Throw in Blake and there won't be any question whether or not the team will have enough serviceable players to keep the 38-year-old Nash fresh for the rigors of an 82-game season.
There's no way Blake was going to stand idly by and watch his job be threatened without having a say in the matter.
As much as the guards have led people to believe they are a cohesive group, there will be an odd man out, maybe two, as the roster thins out following training camp cuts. Blake understands that he has to win his job back, and the only way to do that is to get back on the court and practice, despite the painful injury.
"This kid's just tough as nails," Lakers' head coach Mike Brown told ESPN Los Angeles. "I don't know if he'll ever get out of shape. He only knows one way to play, which is hard."
Given Nash's age and history of back ailments, there will be a substantial need for solid play from the second unit's point guard. Duhon and Blake could engage in a time share, but it wasn't worth it for Blake to risk losing the job outright because of injury.
It's safe to say that the prompt return from the hurt foot was one part toughness and had at least something to do with the possibility that there will be a fairly heated competition in camp for the chance to serve as the primary backup to Nash.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers as a Southern California-based sports journalist, editor, and blogger. You can read him on SB Nation and Examiner.com. He is also the Editor and Founder of Sports Out West.
- Sports & Recreation
- Steve Blake
- Steve Nash
- Chris Duhon
- Los Angeles Lakers