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Steve Nash ‘admired’ Kobe Bryant’s life off the court

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Steve Nash’s final two seasons playing in the NBA came with Kobe Bryant as his teammate.

But beyond Bryant’s prowess on the court, Nash wanted to remember the late Lakers legend for his journey off it.

“What I think is important in my eyes is kind of his career arc, from someone who had some rough moments with his personality to how he redeemed all that and became so beloved by so many,” Nash said Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death.

“For me, most important was that he was an incredible father. That to me is like the tragedy of Kobe passing, is that he was an incredible father and was just starting to embark on that chapter of his life that I think was remarkable and something I really admired about him.”

The Nets traded the No. 19 pick in November’s draft for Landry Shamet as part of a three-team deal. But just 19 games into the season, the guard has fallen out of Nash’s rotation.

A career 40.2 percent shooter from deep entering the season, Shamet was shooting 28.6 percent from beyond the arc in 16 games before not getting off the bench in the Nets’ past two games.

Steve Nash (l) and Kobe Bryant
Steve Nash (l) and Kobe Bryant
Getty Images

“Landry’s struggled a little bit to shoot the ball, but otherwise he’s done well,” Nash said. “He’s another ball-handler, he’s a good decision-maker, he’s solid defensively and sticks to the game plan. I have a lot of trust in him. It’s just hard to find the minutes for everyone, especially when the second unit has been struggling a little bit. … I really love him as a player and think he still has a role to play for us, but it’s just going to take time.”

Though minutes have been hard to come by for Shamet, they have been plentiful for the Nets’ big three — perhaps to a fault. Since joining the Nets, James Harden has played 40.2 minutes per game. Kevin Durant, coming off a ruptured Achilles, is fifth in the NBA at 36.4 minutes, and Kyrie Irving is close behind at 35.1 minutes per game.

“Long term, I don’t like it,” Nash said. “I would err on the side of saying it’s not sustainable. But at the same time, we are where we are right now with a little bit of a depth or a second-unit synchronicity [issue]. We’re kind of caught in between. But that’s a problem that we are trying to solve and thinking of different ways to solve it.”

Starting Wednesday in Atlanta, the Nets play 10 of their next 13 games on the road.

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