Is the end of the road approaching for Canada's greatest basketball player?
According to veteran basketball columnist Peter Vecsey, Lakers guard Steve Nash is close to retirement.
The former New York Post columnist and NBA TV analyst tweeted out the following statement early Tuesday morning: "I'm hearing Nash's pain is forcing him 2 seriously consider calling it a career. He'd still get $ this yr & next & LA'd get cap relief next."
The 39-year-old Nash is sidelined indefinitely with a back injury and has been limited to just six games so far in the 2013-14 NBA season, averaging just 22.5 minutes-per-game.
Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni spoke out last week about rumours of Nash's retirement, trying to temper the situation to the Los Angeles Times.
"There's always going to be a debate but we're not going to debate it, talk about it," D'Antoni told the Times last Tuesday. "He's going to try to get ready, he's going to try to play and we're going to try to win. It's really simple for us. It's not real difficult."
Still, Nash's time in Los Angeles has not been up to the lofty standards he set during his MVP years with the Phoenix Suns, as the Victoria Native appeared in just 50 games for the Lakers in 2012-13 posting a 12.7 points-per-game average (his second-lowest total since 1999-2000) and 6.7 assists per game (his lowest total over that span).
Nash has three years remaining on his contract including the current NBA season, worth a total of just over $28.3 million.
Winning back-to-back MVP Awards in 2004-05 and 2005-06, Nash has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career. He is a veteran of 18 NBA seasons with the Lakers, Suns and Dallas Mavericks and has been selected to 8 NBA All-Star Games, averaging 14.3 PPG, 8.5 APG with a career free throw percentage of 90.4 per cent.