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Steve Nash isn't returning Byron Scott's phone calls

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The Lakers want Nash to take on a mentoring role, but the former two-time MVP doesn't seem interested.

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Not long ago, Steve Nash was supposed to be one of the pieces of a super team that would get the Lakers back to championship contention. Unfortunately, his health deteriorated to the point he couldn't stay on the floor and his contract became an albatross. After missing most of last season, he worked relentlessly to get back on the court, but his back problems flared up again in the preseason and he was ruled out for the year.

Nash appeared to be devastated by the news but didn't announce his retirement. He's technically still under contract with the Lakers, even if he won't be suiting up again. And, according to the Orange County Register, the intention of both coach Byron Scott and general manager Mitch Kupchak apparently was for the future Hall-of-Famer to remain close to the franchise after taking some time to process everything that had happened.

Both Coach Byron Scott and General Manager Mitch Kupchak said they hoped Nash, whose Lakers career has been beset and presumably ended by back injuries, would serve as a mentor and de facto shooting coach for younger players.

But Nash doesn't seem all that interested. In fact, he's not returning Scott's phone calls:

"If my coach would have called me," Scott said, "I definitely would have called him back."

"I'll try him again when I get some more free time tomorrow or Monday or something like that," Scott said. "I know he's probably going through a tough time as far as trying to adjust to life without basketball at this particular point."

The strangest thing about this situation is it wouldn't be the first time Nash took on the role of mentor after leaving a team. He has been the GM of the Canadian National Team for three years and has had an active role in finding, recruiting and engaging the talented basketball players from a country full of players who grew up idolizing him. So it wouldn't be a stretch to see him do something similar with the young talent on the Lakers. Even at this age, Nash commands respect as a former two-time MVP. If he were to advise them, his former teammates would surely listen.

It's understandable for a player who doesn't have strong emotional ties to a franchise to want a clean break. And working with Scott might not be something Nash is interested in -- after all, he is a D'Antoni guy. Or it's possible Nash might simply need a little more time to, as Scott puts it, adjust to life without basketball. Whatever the case may be, this news surely won't endear Nash to the Lakers fan base.


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