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Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott has revealed that the door is open for point guard Steve Nash to return to the franchise in some capacity in the future.
The Lakers players got a surprise visit at the airport from Nash ahead of their Christmas Day trip to face the Chicago Bulls, and Scott welcomed his presence.
Nash had been away from the team since October 23 when it was announced that he would be sidelined for the season with a back injury. While he initially stayed away despite the Lakers suggesting that the door was open for him to be involved, Scott believes that could change.
“I think so,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said when asked if he thought this was the first step toward Nash returning to the team in some capacity. “I think so.”
“It was great to see him, first of all, and for all the players to see him. It was a great gesture on his part to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. He still has to deal with the fact that his career might be over. That’s still something he’s wrestling with. I’m still inviting him to come around here for practice and to join in and just be a part of the team and part the coaching staff. That’s something that he has to deal with and when he wants to and he feels he’s able to do that, whatever time that might be, he’ll be welcome with open arms.”
When Scott was asked if three months wasn’t enough time for Nash decide, he smiled and said, “It depends on the person. Obviously for Steve it’s not.”
Scott and Nash reportedly didn’t talk for almost a month after the point guard was ruled out, but the Lakers coach revealed that he would like to see the veteran come by the practice facility and be involved in team activities if he would like to be.
The Lakers were granted a $4.85m disabled player exception by the NBA which they can use to sign or trade for a player, but there is still a sense of disappointment about how his career with the franchise panned out. Nash played just 65 games in two-plus seasons in Los Angeles because of injuries but he has not yet announced his retirement as he is in the final year of his contract which pays him $9.7m this season.