Steve Nash says there's a big difference between playing basketball and swinging a golf club.
The Canadian NBA star posted a letter on Facebook on Friday night, to explain the extent of his back injury and to answer fans who are angry over a video of him swinging a golf club.
The 40-year-old from Victoria will miss what would have been his 19th — and surely last — season in the NBA with nerve damage in his back. He recently posted a video on Instagram, which has since been deleted, of him hitting balls at a driving range, sparking outrage from some fans.
". . . there is an incredible difference between this game and swinging a golf club, hiking, even hitting a tennis ball or playing basketball at the park," Nash wrote. "Fortunately those other activities aren't debilitating, but playing an NBA game usually puts me out a couple of weeks. Once you're asked to accelerate and decelerate with Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving it is a completely different demand."
Nash's injuries have limited him to just 65 games in two seasons in L.A.
"I definitely don't want to be a distraction, but I felt it best everyone heard from me in my own words," the two-time NBA MVP wrote.
"I have a ton of miles on my back," Nash continued. "Three bulging disks (a tear in one), stenosis of the nerve route and spondylolisthesis. I suffer from sciatica and after games I often can't sit in the car on the drive home, which has made for some interesting rides. Most nights I'm bothered by severe cramping in both calves while I sleep, a result of the same damn nerve routes, and the list goes on somewhat comically.
"That's what you deserve for playing over 1,300 NBA games. By no means do I tell you this for sympathy — especially since I see these ailments as badges of honor — but maybe I can bring some clarity."
The Lakers are 0-5 and last in the Western Conference.
Nash wrote that he's always been one of the hardest workers in the game, and that for the past two years he's "worked like a dog" to both overcome the setbacks and to find the form that could inspire Lakers fans in what he called "my last chapter."
By The Canadian Press