Nash has been dealing with recurring nerve damage in his back and had said he expected this season to be his final one. He has not officially announced any retirement plan.
The 40-year-old played just 65 games over the past two seasons because of injuries. He recently took himself out of a Lakers preseason game and injured his back while carrying bags last week.
“Being on the court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now,” Nash said in a statement released by the team. “I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health.”
Lakers head coach Byron Scott had previously said he was considering starting Jeremy Lin at point guard over Nash. Lin was traded to the Lakers from the Houston Rockets in July. Last season, he averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists per game.
Nash was entering the final year of a three-year deal worth $28 million.
“As disappointed as we are for ourselves and our fans, we’re even more disappointed for Steve,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “We know how hard he’s worked the last two years to try to get his body right for the rigors of the NBA, and how badly he wants to play, but unfortunately he simply hasn’t been able to get there up to this point in time. Steve has been a consummate professional, and we greatly appreciate his efforts.”
-Brett LoGiurato and Molly Geary