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.