The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t sure if star point guard Steve Nash would be ready for the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. Now they know he won’t be suiting up at any point, at all. Per reports, a bad back that was ailing Nash the past week and a half will officially keep him out of the entire season and could even spell the end to his storied career.

Nash’s injury woes stretch back to his first season with the Lakers in 2012, when he sustained a fracture in his leg and missed 32 games. Last year Nash first dealt with serious episodes of nerve irritation, which allowed him to suit up for only 15 of 82 games. Combined with Kobe Bryant’s own health problems, it contributed to a horrible season for the once proud Lakers franchise.

End of the line?

While Nash is clearly done for this year, there has yet to be any word officially stating his career is over. It’s unlikely at this point that the 40-year old ever makes a successful return to anyone’s starting lineup, while his contract with the Lakers ends after this season. It’s still possible Nash wouldn’t want to go out on the sidelines and could latch on with another team (or return to the Lakers) on a one-year deal so he could finish his legendary career on a high note.

Moving on

While it’s a big hit to lose Nash’s experience, shooting, vision and playmaking, L.A. simply needs to move on. The good news is they already had a likely replacement on the team after trading for point guard Jeremy Lin. Lin is fully expected to take over as the full-time starting lead guard and will help Kobe Bryant run the offense. In addition, rookie second round draft pick Jordan Clarkson could factor into the mix, while veteran guard Ronnie Price could also carve out a role.

As for the Lakers themselves, this is obviously a huge loss across the board. Nash couldn’t have possibly been counted on for starter minutes and almost no one banked on him making it through the entire season unscathed, but not getting a single game out of him is quite a blow and a true surprise. Needless to say, no Nash is a pretty big hit to the Lakers’ chances of making the playoffs. Unless Lin steps up and is awesome as the starter, the loss of Nash makes it extremely unlikely the Lakers as currently constructed can make the playoffs this year.

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