Nash ruled out for the entire upcoming season with back injury…
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has insisted that he is proud of former team-mate Steve Nash but is also sad to see injury potentially end his career.
The veteran point guard was ruled out for the entire season with a back injury last week, and after being limited to just 65 games over the past two seasons, the 40-year-old could potentially have played his last NBA game.
Nash suffered from nerve root irritation throughout the year last season but sustained a strain during a pre-season game last month. He aggravated the problem carrying travel bags last week, and both the player himself and the franchise opted to announce that he would be ruled out for the entire campaign.
Nowitzki played alongside Nash during his spell with the Mavs, and although his best work was to come later with the Phoenix Suns, the German star revealed just how highly he regards the point guard.
“I texted him actually that I was proud of him and I was proud to be his teammate,” Nowitzki told ESPNDallas.com on Sunday. “We had an unbelievable run.
“I told him that if you would have told me a 6-foot white guy from Canada was going to be back-to-back MVPs, I would have said you’re absolutely nuts. He had an unbelievable ride.
“To me, he was one of the fiercest competitors I know. He was little, but he didn’t take anything from nobody. He always wanted to win in practice and always got better. He was a great teammate and a great friend, and I was sad to see him go out that way.”
Nash won back-t0-back MVP awards, earned eight All-Star invitations, dished out the third-most assists in NBA history and scored 17,387 career points in a glittering career in which he established himself as an elite point guard.
While there has been no official announcement regarding his plans beyond this year, it is widely expected that he will retire with Nowitzki insisting that it must have been tough for him to feel great one day after making big strides this summer and then breaking down the next.
As a result, the Lakers will have to make do without him this season with Jeremy Lin expected to be promoted to the starting line-up in Nash’s absence.