As of late, enthusiasts and critics alike have been focused on Dwight Howard becoming a Los Angeles Laker which took attention away from the earlier WOW acquisition of Steve Nash. Yes, with Dwight Howard on board it solidifies Lakers contender status in the Western Conference right behind the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the real MAN of the summer is Old Man Nash.
Sure, Steve Nash is an advanced age — that’s just a nice way of saying he’s old — but so are other members of the Lakers, they are just an OLD team. However, a better question or rather concern is health and we are looking right at Steve Nash. Let’s be honest, the Lakers do not have the medical staff that Phoenix did which seemed to pause Father Time on Nash, thus health is the most vital component for Nash and the Lakers going into the 2012-2013 season.
When Nash was introduced as a Laker, he commented on his back saying it was “great” and it could be doing fine in that respect, but the fact is he’s had issues with his back and their medical staff isn’t as equipped as the Suns, but it would be foolish to think that Los Angeles isn’t already taking measure to insure Nash’s health is goal number one.
When Nash signed there was a joke in which how would “chill” Nash mix with “not so chill” Kobe, but the truth is they seem to complement one another; yin and yang so to speak. It would be asinine to believe Kobe isn’t going to attempt to change his ball hog ways in their offensive scheme so Nash can do what he does best: facilitate. Nash improves everyone’s level of play, elite passer, but it will still be a challenge.
Yes, Kobe will still want to get his 20 shots a game, Dwight Howard will want to get his along with Pau, but it will be Nash’s responsibility to be the cohesive team gel that binds all three stars As well as, all three stars becoming willing participants in a new Los Angeles Lakers team concept. At the same time, Nash has to find his own role in the offensive scheme.
Which bring me to Nash’s leadership role. Make no mistake about it, this is Kobe’s team, but while it may be his team, Nash is the basketball guardian of L.A. He will be the cheerleader of the team, but also the voice of reason. He will keep the team grounded, calm, and more than likely you won’t see any World Peace elbows flying. He’s the opposite to what Kobe brings to the locker room, which is often, seriousness with his killer instinct while Nash — like many guys in the NBA such as Chauncey Billups, Derek Fisher, Shane Battier — is a glue guy.
Sure, Laker fans are clamoring about Dwight Howard — as they should be — but from my vantage point, the guy to watch is the starting point guard.