Steve Nash struggled through injuries this past season, playing in only 50 of the Lakers' 82 games during the regular season, and two of their four playoff games. He suffered through hip, hamstring and other injuries that required epidural shots to get him onto the court.
But that is not going to stop Nash from taking part in his summer passion.
The 39-year-old point guard is holding his sixth annual Showdown in Chinatown in New York on June 26. The event draws NBA and international soccer stars to the pitch in Lower Manhattan for an 8-on-8 game to raise money for Nash's foundation. And this year, Nash has added a second event in Los Angeles on July 14th.
Despite the injury issues, Nash said in a conference call today that he will be out there.
"I absolutely plan on playing in both. I'm still rehabbing right now, but with only a few weeks left I should be good to go and playing in both."
Let's be clear about these events. They are not arduous, World Cup types of matches. The only guys expending a lot of energy out there are the few writers who join in. The NBA guys are mostly having a lot of fun out there.
But there is bound to be a segment of Laker Nation that will not be happy hearing Nash, who is owed $19 million over the next two years, is out there playing soccer two months removed from pain-relieving injections in the middle of being swept by the Spurs. And even if you are just fooling around and kicking the ball around, the swinging of the leg is something the hip is heavily involved in.
So it is understandable that some might question the wisdom of playing soccer after everything Nash has been through. But I would say it is a safe bet that his rehab has been more intense than anything he will be doing out there on the pitch.
For more info on Nash's showdown events, visit his website.