Lakers, Steve Nash playing waiting game

It’s not uncommon in warm-weather climates to find hyperventilating news anchors crying out about an upcoming “Storm Watch.”

Excuse the jargon seeping into the realm of the Lakers, but this week would be “Phil Watch,” followed by the less-anticipated “Nash Watch.”

As Phil Jackson debates whether he should return to the Lakers, Steve Nash continues to wait for his leg to heal.

Nash missed his fifth game Sunday because of a small fracture in the head of his left fibula. The Lakers said he would not return until at least Friday, which would be when they play Nash’s former team, the Phoenix Suns.


“Obviously, I’d love to play in that game, but I can only follow nature’s path,” he said Sunday.

Nash is averaging 4.5 points and four assists with the Lakers. He’s in the first year of a three-year contract paying him $27 million.

He hasn’t played since being kneed in the leg Oct. 31 by Portland guard Damian Lillard.

Nash has been relatively durable in recent years, missing only four games last season, seven the year before and only one game in 2009-10.


He hasn’t done any basketball work in several days, making a return unlikely Tuesday against San Antonio.

“Mother Nature is a big component of this no matter how much and how terrific our staff’s work is,” Nash said. “Mother Nature’s got to play its part too.”

Then he added a three-word phrase that could be applied to Jackson’s situation too.

“The waiting game,” he said with chagrin. “Always fun.”

Ebanks in limbo

Reserve forward Devin Ebanks has not played for the Lakers since his arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI on Friday near Hollywood.

He missed his second consecutive game Sunday, though the team was not calling it a suspension. He is still being paid while he sits out.

“Under the circumstances, we just don’t feel like he’s ready to play basketball,” Lakers publicist John Black said.


Ebanks, 23, was pulled over at 2:49 a.m. Friday by California Highway Patrol officers. A post on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon encouraged his followers to celebrate a woman’s birthday that night at Roxbury night club near Hollywood.

Ebanks’ next scheduled court date is Dec. 7. He is averaging 2.5 points and 10.3 minutes in his third season with the Lakers.

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