, 39, is averaging 24.5 minutes per game this season. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
The Lakers' Steve Nash isn't thinking retirement yet despite dealing with myriad injuries that cost the 39-year-old point guard 32 games last season and have contributed to his sluggish start in 2013-14.
The two-time MVP told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com on Thursday that he intends to honor his contract. which runs through next season.
Here's a portion of their Q&A:
Q: You've been able to address the health issues and the age factor with humor. But at some point does it become a legitimate, serious discussion you have to have with yourself about how much longer you can do this?
A: Yeah, and I've got 18 months. So we'll see. Hopefully, I can get through 18 months and contribute and produce.
Q: You're talking about this season and next season?
A: Yeah, think about it, right? That's about 18 months. So I've got to find a way to get through that and prove to myself every day that I can contribute.
Q: Do you envision any set of circumstances that would cause you to say, ‘You know what? Next season is not going to happen? I'm not going to be able to be the player I want to be?'
A: I don't think so. I'm already not the player I want to be and just [have] a different body. My body's different. I'm still trying to adjust and adapt and get my body to accept a certain amount of the pounding and forces and be able to adjust my game and still be productive. I still feel like I've got a lot of life left without basketball so I'm going to try to enjoy it and make the most of these last 18-20 months, whatever it is.
Nash later said of retirement: "I'm not there yet."
The eight-time All-Star is averaging 7.6 points (on 27.9 percent shooting) and 5.2 assists in 24.2 minutes in five games. He missed one game while resting on the second night of a back-to-back, an approach that could last all season, according to the Los Angeles Times, as the Lakers attempt to keep him fresh. Nash was expected to sit out Friday's game in New Orleans after playing 28 minutes in Thursday's victory at Houston.
Nash, who has had a troublesome back for years and still feels pain from last season's broken leg, told CBSSports.com that he's "on that verge of trying to get over the hump physically. If I can do that, I'll really enjoy it."