Damian Lillard Opens Up About Ending Steve Nash’s Career

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ONTARIO, CA - OCTOBER 10: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives against Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a pre-season game at Citizens Business Bank Arena on October 10, 2012 in Ontario, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Damian Lillard isn’t known as a dirty player who sends opponents into retirement, but sometimes, the unfortunate happens.

On the BackOnFIGG podcast, Lillard recalled bumping knees with Steve Nash in Portland’s 2012 season opener. This incident eventually led to Nash’s demise, sending the legendary point guard into early retirement.

“Me and Nash, when he ended his career with his leg injury, me and him ran into each other. I actually kneed him on accident, just in collision, and that actually ended his career… I was like, I feel bad.”

Damian Lillard on ending Steve Nash’s career

The game happened nearly 11 years ago, but Lillard’s recollection of what transpired is impressive. This is the play in question:

After that outing, Nash played around 60 more games for the Lakers across two seasons. However, the two-time MVP was never the same. Nash appeared in only 15 games for the Purple and Gold in 2013-14 before calling it quits.

For Lillard, he has been a Lakers tormentor ever since. According to StatMuse, the Weber State product averaged 28.6 points, 6.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 35 games versus the Lakers in his career. Portland won 24 of those contests.

Lillard remains in trade rumors

Lillard has been the epicenter of NBA trade talks in the past few months. He reportedly requested a trade from the Blazers front office in the offseason, citing the Miami Heat as his top destination. As of now, Portland is not making it easy for Miami, as per sources. 

NBA pundits such as Bill Simmons threw in the Minnesota Timberwolves as a team that Lillard should consider, but that seems not to be the case. ESPN’s Marc Spears said there are rumors of an Eastern Conference team joining the fray as a third team in the deal.

That mystery team is supposedly the Charlotte Hornets. According to some reports, the Hornets are eager to pair Tyler Herro with LaMelo Ball to form the newest dynamic backcourt in the East.