Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Steve Nash, turned 40 years old today. When he steps on the court today to face the Philadelphia 76ers he will be 1 of only 7 guards to have ever played at the age of 40 years old in an NBA game. The others were Jason Kidd, Michael Jordan, John Long, John Stockton, Bob Cousy and Nat Hickey.
When Nash is healthy enough to play, he has shown to still be incredibly effective on the court, despite his well-aged legs. Last year in 50 games, Nash averaged 12.7 points and 6.7 assists per game. He was still as efficient as he’s ever been, shooting 49.7 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from 3 and 92.2 percent from the free throw line.
Last season, Nash just missed out hitting the 50/40/90 club, which is when a player has shot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the 3 point line and 90 percent from the free throw line in a season. Nash has accomplished this feat 4 times in his career; most recently in the 2009-10 season. The only other player to have accomplished this more than once was Larry Bird who did it twice. Nash is also the oldest player to have hit the 50/40/90 in a season (2009-10, age 35.)
Nash is under contract for one more season with the Lakers and if he can actually stay healthy enough to play out his contract he will surpass 41 years of age. If he can make it till the need next season, he will surpass John Stockton for 3rd oldest guard to have played an NBA game, placing him just behind Bob Cousy and Nat Hickey who played at the age of 45 back in the 1947-48 season for the Providence Steam Rollers (isn’t the internet handy!)
While many Lakers fans want Nash to hang up the sneakers in order for the Lakers to move forward with the rebuilding phase and make better use of his salary that eats up cap space, Nash has put in 18 seasons of a Hall of Fame career and deserves to go out on his terms.
Happy Birthday old man.
– Fern Rea
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