There have always been risks involved when playing competitive sports, and nothing is more competitive than professional basketball. Two weeks ago, the all-glorious LeBron James broke his nose when playing the Oklahoma City Thunder. As James drove the ball down for a layup, he was knocked to the ground resulting in a bloody broken nose.
For now, James will be wearing a mask to protect his nose. Back in 2005, he wore a similar mask to protect his broken cheek bone.
James left the game early, but the Heat still managed to blow out the Thunder. How often has this happened this season? The major injuries this season have been more than just a game changer. For many players, injuries have translated into missing huge chunks of time.
Kobe Bryant, claimed as one of the greatest players of his time, knows this all too well. Last April, the Lakers legend tore his Achilles tendon, which put him in rehab for eight months. At age 39, the old player is not able to play at the pace he once did.
Just six games after his recovery, Bryant fractured his left knee, leaving him off the court for another six weeks. With Bryant hurt, the Lakers team sit at the bottom of the Western Pacific conference with only 19 wins this season. Is this the cause of Bryant’s injury? Many would blame this injury for their pathetic season.
Another drastic injury is that of the Bulls superstar Derrick Rose. Rose has a somewhat similar story to the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. Missing the entire 2012-2013 season due to a torn ACL, Derrick Rose missed his chance at the playoffs, as his Bulls advanced to the conference semifinals.
Talk about déjà vu: Rose tore his meniscus and has not played a game since November 22. With their MVP left waiting on the sidelines, the Bulls are just behind the Pacers.
Injuries in the NBA are all too common, leaving fan-favorite players watching their team from the bench and crippling basketball programs. The NBA rules are already fairly strict, but competitive play keeps the risk of injury alive. Even though not every injury is a Kevin Ware injury, no player wants to be a masked player like LeBron.
– Andrew Freeman, Contributing Writer