LOS ANGELES: Steve Nash, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, announced his retirement on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) after having missed the entire season for the Los Angeles Lakers due to a nagging back injury.
“I’m retiring from basketball. Thanks for all the love through the years,” the 41-year-old Canadian posted on his Twitter page, along with a link to an essay on the Players Tribune website explaining his decision.
Nash, the son of an English father and Welsh mother born in South Africa just 18 months before his family moved to Canada, became a US college star at Santa Clara and was selected 15th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns traded Nash to Dallas in 1998 and he played six seasons for the Mavericks, taking NBA Most Valuable Player honors in the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons and establishing himself as one of the top point guards and assist men in the league.
Phoenix signed him to a free agent deal in 2004 and he stayed with the Suns until joining the Lakers in 2012.
Nash, a five-time NBA season assists leader known for accuracy at the free throw line and as a 3-point shooter, announced last October he would not play this season after doctors advised him to sit out because of lingering back pain.
Nash finished with averages of 14.3 points and 8.5 assists over 1,217 NBA games.