Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash, at NBA all-star game, doesn't see retirement in near ... - Toronto Star

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Think Steve Nash is rubbing his hands in anticipation of life after roundball? Think again. The 38-year-old says he doesn't know if he'll call it quits next year, or if his body will give him another five seasons.

Think Steve Nash is rubbing his hands in anticipation of life after roundball? Think again. The 38-year-old says he doesn't know if he'll call it quits next year, or if his body will give him another five seasons.


ORLANDO—Steve Nash has never been shackled by common sense and logic. He has done his job with unbridled passion and on his own terms, truly taking one day, one game, one season at a time, concerned far more with the present than the past or the future.

And now, with questions coming fast and furious about his future as he enters what many see as the dotage of a Hall of Fame career, he's not about to change.

He will patiently entertain queries, of course, because that's the way he handles himself but he will not be limited by the expectations and ideas of others.

He will, as he's always done, do his business and see where it takes him; people are sadly mistaken if they buy into the notion that the end is near for the 38-year-old all-star.

"You can't predict Father Time so you never know when your body's had enough," Nash said here as he prepared for his eighth NBA all-star game. "But I still feel capable and I feel like I should be capable next year and hopefully next year I'm playing the same way and I can say I feel like I'll be capable the year after that but you never know.

"At this stage, it's hard to look three, four, five years down the road but I feel like I can still play in the league for a long time."

Nash is the elder statesmen of this weekend's all-star festivities, he will become the oldest point guard to play in the game when he suits up for the West on Sunday night. It is a true Golden Era of point guards in the NBA but there's Nash, a relatively old man still leading the league in assists, having the best all-around offensive season of any point guard in the game.

He's averaging a league-best 10.9 assists per game, 13.9 points per game on 54 per cent shooting from the field and 40 per cent efficiency from three-point range. He's only shooting 86 per cent from the free throw line: that's the only statistical blip on the radar.

Nash, whose Phoenix Suns team is struggling at 14-20, is driven by one simple fact: it's fun.

"I love to play, I love to compete, I love to be part of a team, I like to play against the best players in the world and I also love the lifestyle, getting up every day and having to work out," he said.

"That's just who I am. I think if I wasn't playing in the NBA, I'd still be doing that anyway so why not do it in a competitive structured environment. It's still a pretty good way to live your life."

And a huge part of the reason that Nash sees no reason to even consider calling it a career when he's a free agent this summer following his 16th season.

"I guess what I'm saying is I wouldn't want to put a limit on it," he said. "I might play two or three more years, I might play more, I don't know. I don't feel like there's any reason to put a limit on it now.

"What will transpire will transpire but I don't feel like I have to put a limit on it, I don't feel that I have to necessarily be in a frame of mind that 'This is the end, this is the last chapter.' Who knows? I could play for five more years or whatever."

The question is, where?

The season began rife with speculation that the Suns might want to deal the face of their franchise, although that has cooled considerably. Nash won't go in and ask to be dealt but the feeling around the league is there will be an amicable parting of the ways this summer.

"I didn't know if it's died down or risen, I stay oblivious of all the chatter so I guess it doesn't matter," he said.

"I've been in Phoenix a long time, this is my 10th season as a Sun so I feel like it's a difficult position for me to demand a trade when I've been a part of that community for so long. On the other hand, I really feel like I owe it to my teammates to do the best I can for the group. I really don't feel like I should be demanding anything."

26 Feb, 2012

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