The situation for Steve Nash and the Lakers has gone from bad, to worse, to downright abysmal.
After the story was broken by Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, it was announced today by Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers management that Nash, the NBA's oldest active player at age 40, will miss the entire 2014-15 season due to a back injury he suffered while carrying bags a few weeks ago.
Nash speculated during the offseason that this, his 19th year in the league, would likely be his last, though in recent weeks he has hinted that if the right scenario presented itself in Los Angeles, he might consider playing next season.
This latest set-back, however, calls into question whether Nash would be given a contract by any NBA team. Since signing his 3 year, $28 million deal with the Lakers following a sign and trade with the Suns in the 2012 offseason, Nash has played in just 65 of 164 possible regular season games, including just 15 games a season ago.
The response on Twitter has been one of near mourning, as media members and basketball personalities largely seem to believe that this latest set back will force Nash to retire.
The two time, back to back MVP winner in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, both with the Suns, has suffered from a slew of injuries, mostly to his lower body, since coming to the Lakers.
Nash, along with teammate Kobe Bryant, are the last currently contracted members of the 1996 NBA draft class (though Jermaine O'Neal, Marcus Camby and Ray Allen remain free agents, having not yet officially retired).
With Nash having been ruled out for the season, the Lakers now have the option to use the Disabled Player Exception to sign a player to a one year contract or trade for a player in the last year of his contract, for a contract value of no more than $4.85 million. This seems a likely next step for the team, which has been predicted to continue its slide into the Western Conference cellar by most media pundits.