Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott has defended former NBA point guard Steve Nash from criticism of his injury-plagued tenure with the franchise.
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Nash announced his retirement on Saturday after 18 years in the NBA, but Scott was never given the opportunity to coach him as in his first year with the Lakers, the veteran point guard was ruled out before the season started due to back and leg issues.
The two-time MVP was criticised heavily by Lakers fans for his lack of playing time, although most of it was born out of frustration of not being able to see him perform at his high levels during his spell with the organisation.
However, Scott has backed his former star and insisted that Nash did all that he could to stay healthy and get back on the court when many others would have given up hope.
“He did everything possible to get on the court,” Scott said, ESPN reports.
“I think [critics] should really take that into consideration. It didn’t work out. But take a look at everything he’s done over the course of his career, and look at him that way — not at what ended up happening here.”
Scott also defended the decision to give Nash space after he was ruled out for the season as he didn’t attend practice or games during his spell on the sidelines.
The former Lakers star insisted that as an ex-basketball player he understood why Nash would want to keep his distance and it was never an issue within the organisation for general manager Mitch Kupchak in particular.
Nash had hoped to enjoy the final few years of his career in Los Angeles as the Lakers paired him up with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard.
However, the plan didn’t work out as hoped with his on-going injury woes and with both Howard and Gasol moving on while Bryant remains sidelined with injury troubles of his own.