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Steve Nash addresses fan criticism over video showing injured Lakers guard playing golf

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EL SEGUNDO, California — Steve Nash responded to criticism Friday from Los Angeles Lakers fans over a recent Instagram video showing the injured guard swinging a golf club.

The 40-year-old former NBA MVP has been declared out for the season with back problems, and he realizes Lakers fans were confused by his golf video, which has been deleted.

The Canadian star wrote an open letter on Facebook addressing the criticism Friday night.

"This may be hard for people to understand unless you've played NBA basketball, but there is an incredible difference between this game and swinging a golf club, hiking, even hitting a tennis ball or playing basketball at the park," Nash wrote.

"Fortunately those other activities aren't debilitating, but playing an NBA game usually puts me out a couple of weeks. Once you're asked to accelerate and decelerate with (Stephen) Curry and Kyrie Irving it is a completely different demand."

Nash has played in just 65 regular-season games for the Lakers since signing a three-year contract that will pay him $9.7 million this season. The Lakers also gave up four draft picks to acquire Nash, further hampering their rebuilding effort.

Nash appeared in just three preseason games last month and wasn't able to begin what would have been his 19th NBA season. He hasn't announced his retirement, but also has said he presumes this season will be his last.

The two-time MVP wrote in detail about his injury problems, describing three bulging disks and sciatica that sometimes prevents him from sitting in cars.

"That's what you deserve for playing over 1,300 NBA games," Nash wrote. "By no means do I tell you this for sympathy — especially since I see these ailments as badges of honor — but maybe I can bring some clarity."

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