Steve Nash: 'I was always pretty tired in the playoffs. I could have used some rest'

Steve Nash hunkers down. (Getty)
Steve Nash hunkers down. (Getty)

The guy that used to literally lie down (though sometimes he was pushed) on the sidelines wasn’t fooling around. Steve Nash admits that he probably could have used a few extra days off in seasons that sometimes neared or topped 100 games.

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Nash, a two-time NBA MVP who retired without a championship in 2015, currently works as a consultant for the Golden State Warriors; a squad that figures to top 100 games for the third season in a row this spring. With the Warriors and other clubs, not sure if you’ve heard, resting prominent players in anticipation of a two-month playoff churn recently, Nash was of course asked if he felt any kinship toward those he used to share a court with, as they sit out that night’s nationally televised affair.

Via Pro Basketball Talk, from SiriusXM’s NBA channel’s (including, to these ears, a paraphrased initial quote) Twitter feed:



You can listen to the full interview, with Joel Meyers and Mitch Lawrence, here:

Nash, true to his current role, spends as much time explaining away a team’s need to rest certain players as he does addressing the player needs, and the frustration of fans that continually see massive personal investments washed almost entirely down the drain merely because another company decided to temporarily protect their investment from the wears of chance and pushing it too far.

For those wondering, Nash’s playoff per-game and advanced statistics from his best years in Dallas and (especially) Phoenix are spectacular, the sort of slightly diminished marks that you’ll typically see from a player that has to work through a playoff problem like Sacramento, Memphis, San Antonio, Dallas or the Lakers after a regular season spent partially feeding on chumps from Golden State, Boston, Toronto and the lowly Clippers.

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Nash was bothered almost from the outset of his career by Achilles, ankle and back woes. His initial two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks (following a 1998 trade to Texas after two seasons with the Suns) were so tumultuous that the Mavs signed journeyman point guard Howard Eisley prior to 2000-01 as reserve and possibly starter’s insurance should Nash’s iffy play carry over into his fifth season.

He made the All-Star team that year, as the Mavs made their first playoff appearance in 11 seasons. Nash would go on to average 18.2 points and 9.4 assists in 112 playoff games as a lead dog (his first eight, token-plus-one-weird-start, contests with the Suns shouldn’t count), averaging 37.7 minutes per contest from 2001 through his wonderfully wacky turn in almost leading the 2010 Suns to the NBA Finals.

By comparison, Nash averaged 16.8 points and 9.6 assists in 34.1 minutes per regular season contest through that same 2000-01 to 2009-10 turn. It was a hell of a run.

It really was. And though the obvious is in place – Steve Nash never made the NBA Finals, he never won an NBA championship – things could barely have been better. Nash’s best chance at a ring was scuttled in 2005 due to the duel hit of significant injury and the presence of one of the greatest defenses in NBA history, out of San Antonio. Things were lost in 2006 and 2007 due to injury and suspension, and nobody knows what the hell happened with Shaq in 2008. The 2010 season was just a wondrous folly dragged back down to earth by a guy then known as Ron Artest.

All chances could have been bettered by Nash (who entered the league at age 22) sitting five to ten more regular season contests while working in his mid-30s, but any spittle beyond there would take away from the accomplishments of those championship Spurs and Lakers teams, two hellacious Sacramento Kings teams in 2002 and 2004, and a Dallas Mavericks club that would eventually go on to take the title with Nash cheering on from afar.

We all, at our best, could have used a little more rest even at our peak moments. That’s why, again, the league and its players are working together to ensure that 2016-17 will be the final season that we’ll have to discuss the rest remedy at length.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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