Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash announced his retirement Saturday after a 19-year NBA career that included two MVP awards.
After playing in just 65 games over the last three seasons due to injuries, the 41-year-old Canadian playmaker formally announced his departure with a letter on The Players' Tribune, a website where he is a senior producer.
"I will likely never play basketball again," wrote Nash, who hasn't played at all this season. "It's bittersweet. I already miss the game deeply, but I'm also really excited to learn to do something else."
The eight-time all-star is third in NBA history with 10,335 assists, trailing only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Nash also is the best free-throw shooter in NBA history at 90.4 percent, barely edging Mark Price.
Nash will be remembered for his incredible prime with the Phoenix Suns. The speedy, sharpshooting point guard changed the professional game and won the league MVP awards in 2005 and 2006 during a dominant stretch as the catalyst for coach Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense.
"It will always hurt that Phoenix Suns fans didn't get the championship they deserved during our run," said Nash, who spent 10 seasons in Phoenix during two tenures with the Suns.
Nash's career wound down painfully with the Lakers, who mortgaged their future to sign him to a $28 million contract in 2012, trading four draft picks to Phoenix in a bid to build a championship team around Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.
But Nash struggled with injuries in Los Angeles from his second game, when he broke a bone in his left leg. After managing just 15 games last season, a persistent back problem prevented Nash from suiting up at all this year, making his retirement a long-expected formality.
In Saturday's games:
Nets 123, Pacers 111 - Brook Lopez scored 26 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 21 as visiting Brooklyn put away Indiana. George Hill's 18 points led six Indiana players in double figures.
Pistons 107, Bulls 91 - Reggie Jackson scored 22 points, and Caron Butler added 20 as host Detroit pulled away with a 27-12 final quarter to defeat Chicago. The Bulls' Pau Gasol led all scorers with 27 points.
Grizzlies 97, Trail Blazers 86 - In a battle of division leaders, Jeff Green scored 23 points, and Mike Conley added 21 to lead five players in double figures as host Memphis held off Portland. The Blazers' Damian Lillard led all players with 27 points. Memphis held a 53-44 lead at halftime.
Suns 117, Rockets 102 - Visiting Phoenix pulled away in a 37-25 third quarter to put away Houston. The Suns' Eric Bledsoe led all scorers with 34 points. Marcus and Markieff Morris added 17 apiece for Phoenix. Donatas Motiejunas led Houston with 18.