After a standout 19-year-long career in the NBA, Steve Nash is officially retiring from basketball. The Victoria, B.C. native, 41, made the announcement yesterday on The Player’s Tribune with a link on his Twitter account.
The point guard spent the bulk of his career with the Phoenix Suns as well as a six-year interlude with the Dallas Mavericks and, most recently, a two-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nash was an eight-time All-Star and won back-to-back MVP awards in 2004 and 2005. As one of Canada’s best basketball exports, he also won the Lou Marsh Trophy – an annual award for Canada’s top athlete – in 2005.
The current 2014-15 NBA season was supposed to have been Nash’s last as part of a three-year long, $28-million contract he signed with the Lakers in 2012. However, he has missed the entire season to date – a pre-season back injury has prevented him from playing in any regular season games.
“I will likely never play basketball again. It’s bittersweet,” Nash wrote. “I already miss the game deeply, but I’m also really excited to learn to do something else.”
“When I signed with the Lakers, I had big dreams of lifting the fans up and lighting this city on fire. I turned down more lucrative offers to come to L.A. because I wanted to be in the ‘fire,’ and play for high risk and high reward in my last NBA chapter. In my second game here, I broke my leg and nothing was the same.”
“Last spring, when I returned to the court, I was given a standing ovation at Staples Center. It was a dark time in my career and that gesture will be one of my best memories.”
Beyond the NBA court, Nash gained national attention, earning the nickname ‘Captain Canada,’ when he led Canada’s men’s basketball team in the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. In 2012, he was appointed the general manager of Canada’s men’s national basketball team.
He is also known for his charity work through a namesake foundation he established. In 2001, he created the Steve Nash Foundation to provide vulnerable children with opportunities for education, play and empowerment.
Nash has business interests as well, particularly at home. He opened the first Steve Nash Sports Club in downtown Vancouver in 2007 and became a co-owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC the following year.