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| December 22, 2014

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Injuries in the NBA

Injuries in the NBA
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Injuries in the NBA: Countless injuries to the league’s best players speak to shelf life of Athletic Careers

Injuries really suck. Just last April, I was screaming praises for my beloved Denver Nuggets and its ability to challenge in the Western Conference playoffs when the unthinkable happened; Danillo Gallinari tore his ACL.

Gallinari has not played since then, over a year later. JaVale McGee missed over 70 games this season, Nate Robinson tore his ACL in January and J.J. Hickson tore his ACL in March. That only accounts for players who are out for the remainder of the season.

Team leader and point guard, Ty Lawson, has dealt with a laundry list of ailments, and right now his ankle is keeping him off the court. Small forward, Wilson Chandler, has missed significant time with an old hip injury that has plagued him since his arrival in Denver three years ago.  Since Gallinari’s injury the Nuggets are just 43-49.

A string of injuries and a lack of consistency are not fair, but its pro sports and the rest of the league are not going to offer any sympathy.

However, one cannot possibly disagree there is a problem in the NBA when Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul have all missed at least 20 games this season.

Whatever is causing these injuries, please make them stop. There is nothing players, coaches or fans can do about injuries, but the ability to watch the best in the world play is the appeal of the NBA. Bryant never missed any significant time in his career until he tore his achilles tendon last season and then came back arguably too soon and had a serious knee issue. Thus, Bryant played in just six games this season. It is not good for basketball to see him in his now trademarked black suit when he goes to games. He is already at the end of his career, shortening it even more because of injury is a cruel sick joke.

Wade has had constant knee swelling and has missed the last eight games because of a sore hamstring. The ability to see the big three is an opportunity not many get. I was lucky enough to see them play twice in a three-day span during spring break (how awesome, I know!).

LeBron James is the greatest player in the league, but he cannot do it on his own. Wade’s constant nagging history of ailments over the past two seasons are a cause for concern for basketball fans. Since he was drafted in 2003, Wade has played in four NBA Finals and is arguably a top-five all time talent at the shooting guard position. In fact, April 11 Wade did not play vs. the Indiana Pacers, in a game for first place in the east.

Derrick Rose tore his ACL in game one of a first round series against the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012. He missed all of last season because of that injury and then tore the meniscus in his other knee this year after playing just 10 games. Rose is undoubtedly a top five point guard when healthy and watching him slash his way to the basket is worth the admission or the three hours in front of your television.

We basically have not seen the 2009 number one overall pick play in two seasons. The last time Rose was at full strength the Bulls made the Eastern Conference Finals.

I am sick of watching the league’s best in suits on the bench being cheerleaders. Injuries happen by chance, in most cases freak accidents that are uncontrollable, but come one I know I speak for NBA fans when I say, “let us see the best in the world.”

Brian Saunders

Senior Writer

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