Injuries are an unfortunate reality in sports.
Nobody likes seeing a brutal injury happen—especially when it’s to a key player on the team you’re rooting for.
And there were two key injuries in the NBA recently that puts the argument of reducing the regular season to bed.
The NBA is considered a contact sport and there has been an argument floating around for the last couple of seasons whether it’s a smart idea to cut down the 82-game regular season to prevent injuries.
When the NBA Finals finally do arrive after a 9 month regular and post season, nobody wants to see Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, or LeBron James watching from the sidelines with a brace on their leg or an arm in a sling.
Charles Barkley would contend that these guys are professional athletes and they need to grow up and stop being babies about sitting because they “know” their bodies.
But freak injuries happen all of the time and it’s not because of the strenuous season.
And that was crystal clear during the opening week of basketball when Boston Celtics Gordon Hayward and New Jersey Nets Jeremy Lin went down with gruesome and possibly season-ending injuries.
The Boston Globe reported:
“Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is highly unlikely to resume playing this season, after fracturing and dislocating his left tibia just over five minutes into Tuesday’s season opener, in the view of five Boston orthopedic surgeons who are not involved with his care.
But some predicted Hayward would recover fully and return to play next season.
“It will probably be a long road for him,” said Dr. Christopher W. DiGiovanni, chief of the Division of Foot & Ankle Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. But at the end, DiGiovanni said, “He can go back to the same level of play and performance.”
But that will take time, said Dr. Elizabeth G. Matzkin, an orthopedic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“You have to give it time to heal,” she said, “and then you have to rehab and get back all the strength and endurance.
“I don’t think it’s career-ending by any means.”
Dr. Christopher Geary, chief of sports medicine at Tufts Medical Center, said it may take as long as two seasons for Hayward to restore the skill that led the Celtics to sign him to a four-year, $128 million contract in July.”
A few days later, Jeremy Lin went out too.
“Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin has been diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee. The injury occurred during the fourth quarter of last night’s game at Indiana. Lin is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season. Further updates will be made available at a later time.
Statement from Nets General Manager Sean Marks.
“Jeremy worked tremendously hard during the offseason and in training camp and was excited for the prospects of the team this season.
We feel awful that the injury will cost him the season, however our entire organization will be there to support Jeremy in every way possible throughout his recovery. Jeremy remains an important part of this team and will continue to contribute in a leadership role.”
You could make the argument that when Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles’ in 2013 that it was because he was overworked, logging brutal minutes to get the Lakers into the playoffs. But he was also getting old too.
When an injury will occur is the most unpredictable part of any sport, but reducing the number of games isn’t the answer to preventing them from occurring.
They’re going to happen regardless.