In the NBA, basketball injuries are very common. We see top athletes getting hurt in the game all the time, but it unfortunately always has been and always will be a part of the sport. But of course, some injuries in the history of the NBA have been more painful than others.
That being said, let’s go over some of the worst injuries in the history of the NBA:
Brace yourself for this one. On December 9th, 1977, the Los Angeles Lakers were in a matchup with the Houston Rockets. The 26-year old Lakers power forward Rudy Tomjanovic was accidentally forcefully punched by teammate Kermit Washington, who was acting in defence of a player potentially coming to attack him. Tomjanovich instantly fell to the ground, unconscious, blood gushing. His entire face was broken, with his skull dislocated and spinal fluid leaking, which he said he could taste in his mouth.
The punch was apparently the equivalent to being thrown out of a vehicle going 50 miles an hour, and “sounded like a melon had been dropped on the floor” according to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Tomjanovich almost didn’t survive. And sadly, his career as a player, even a potential coach, had come to a tragic end. At least Washington did get Tomjanovich’s forgiveness.
In a game against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26th, 2007, Shaun Livingston went up for a mildly contested layup, and on his way down, suffered a terribly gruesome landing due to poor positioning.
Livingston's leg snapped. He suffered a torn ACL, torn PCL, torn lateral meniscus, badly sprained MCL, and a dislocation of the patella (kneecap) and tibio-fibulae joint. Doctors even told him at one point that his leg may need to be amputated. Fortunately that wasn’t the case for Livingston, but he did require over 8 months of rehabilitation before he could begin walking again. And even better news: Livingston was able to continue playing in the NBA after his recovery.
Gordon Hayward suffered an unthinkable leg injury when he experienced a horrific landing in under halfway through first quarter of a regular season opener between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers on October 17th of 2017. Hayward had ran down the baseline, going up to secure a lob pass from Kyrie Irving to make a dunk - but things didn’t go as planned.
Hayward landed tragically with his foot caught and his leg crushed underneath the weight of his body, snapping instantaneously below his knee and rotating his foot at a horrifying angle. His injury had been diagnosed a dislocated ankle and fractured tibia.
Because of his injury, Hayward only got to play six minutes of his first season with the Celtics - to which he had signed a four-year, $128 million contract.
Paul George suffered a horrendous leg injury during a Team USA scrimmage, when he went up for a chase-down block on opposing teammate James Harden. Upon coming down, George’s foot forcefully landed on the backstop of the hoop, causing it to snap. George’s injury was deemed a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula, and required two hours of surgery involving the placement of a pin in his knee. The NBA learned from George’s injury and moved the backstop back in order to prevent this from happening to another player in the future.
Fortunately, George was able to make a comeback to the courts after his recovery and is a fiercer player than ever today, currently playing for the Los Angeles Clippers.
For athletes today who suffer injuries (hopefully not nearly as brutal as any of the aforementioned athletes), modern rehabilitation treatments such as those listed below offered by Game Changers Sports Recovery use proven sports rehab technologies to help speed up the recovery process:
Learn about the Game Ready system typically used to promote recovery of the legs, shoulder, back, ankle, knee, or wrist.
Learn about Rapid Reboots Treatment typically used to promote recovery of the legs, arms and hips.
Learn about Theralight 360 used to promote complete cell rejuvenation of the entire body.
Learn about BioFlex Laser used to promote complete cell rejuvenation in specific areas of the body at a time.
Stay safe, ballers!
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