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Steve Nash one-on-one: Injuries, retirement, and Raptors regret

WATCH ABOVE: Global’s Rosey Edeh spoke with Canadian basketball great Steve Nash about how he made the decision to call it a career, what he’s doing with his time off the court

TORONTO – It isn’t easy for a basketball superstar to admit his career’s over.

“It was really hard to come to the realization and find that clarity that I had come to the end and I couldn’t do what I love to do and what I had done so passionately for so many years,” Steve Nash told Global News’ Rosey Edeh at the Grosvenor St. YMCA in downtown Toronto.

It’s been almost a month since Canada’s greatest basketball player retired from NBA, ending a 19-year career in the sport he loved and earned him two MVP awards.

The 41-year-old playmaker and Victoria native  native of Victoria, B.C was plagued by back and leg injuries for three seasons. That’s what finally convinced himto call it a day, a decision he announced in a letter on The Players’ Tribune, a website featuring content created by professional athletes and of which he’s also a senior producer.

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READ MORE: Steve Nash speaks to media about his retirement from basketball

But tough as leaving the game was, his career hasn’t been too shabby: The eight-time All-Star is third in NBA history with 10,335 assists, trailing only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Nash is also the best free-throw shooter in NBA history at 90.4 percent, slightly ahead of Mark Price.

Now he says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family – he’s excited to be a dad “that has tons of time and energy” for his three children, ages 11 and five – and working with Canada’s national basketball program.

“It’s definitely a difficult realization and a tough transition. But there is so much to life that I love to do and can focus on,” he said.

Nash was in Toronto as an ambassador for Tangerine’s #Brightwayforward, a “community investment platform” that donate money and time to a range of endeavours including Canada Basketball and Steve Nash Youth Basketball.

He does regret never playing for the home team, he said.

“I love the city of Toronto. To come home and play for Canada would have been a dream come true. The timing wasn’t right, with my family and my kids in particular,” he said. “I’ll always feel disappointed I could never realize playing for the Raptors. Playing in Canada would have been really, really special for me.”

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*With files from Rosey Edeh

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