Olynyk praises Nash

MassLive - WALTHAM –
If Steve Nash’s career has ended, Kelly Olynyk will miss his fellow Canadian.

“Unbelievable,” the Boston Celtics big men said before practice Friday afternoon. “I can’t think him enough or say enough about him and what he’s done.”

Suffering from nerve damage in his back, Nash has been ruled out for the entire 2014-15 season, a decision that could end his career. Ever since joining the Los Angeles Lakers two summers ago, the eight-time All-Star could not convince his body to work.

Following last week's announcement that Steve Nash will miss the entire 2014-15 season, Kelly Olynyk was obviously affected. Nash is widely considered the greatest Canadian basketball player of all time, and with good reason; he is a first ballot hall of famer, an All-Star, and a former two time league MVP. With a current influx of Canadian talent in the NBA, it would be surprising if Nash wasn't immediately name checked as a big influence on any player asked.

It is Nash's immeasurable work ethic that has lead him to influence so many athletes during his career. Once cut by the Canadian junior national team- by Olynyk's father no less- Nash's drive to succeed is what ultimately lead him through a 19-year NBA career, earned him the title of the country's greatest player, and into a role in which he oversees the men's national team.

“He’s a great person, unbelievable player,” the Celtics big man added. “And just his work ethic and his dedication to the game is unbelievable. He kind of instilled that in not only me, but a lot of other Canadian players throughout the summers with the national teams.”

Nash was rumored to be retiring at the end of the 2014-15 season. This most recent setback seems like the end of a 19-year journey, but only time will tell. If it was anyone else in the NBA, I'd be willing to bet that a back injury at 40 would be it. But since it's Steve Nash, I'll err on the side of, "only time will tell."

Photo: AP