Highly Unusual Yet Entirely Relatable Basketball Injuries

Playing professional basketball is a grueling affair. In the NBA, you typically have to slog through 82 games during the regular season.

If you’re lucky enough to make the playoffs, that’s another four to 28 games.

And as you may have guessed, these aren’t your typical pick-up basketball games. Players are bumping, shoving, slapping, and doing all kinds of things to make catching and/or shooting and/or rebounding a basketball darn near impossible.

That anyone can ever accomplish anything during a basketball game is a minor miracle.

The physicality is a major reason why there are so many injuries, too. Guys are banged up throughout the course of a game, straining a shoulder or tweaking a knee.

Sometimes, though, a truly bizarre injury occurs. It’s almost as if NBA players are, in fact, human.

And as we know, by also being humans, it’s almost comical how regularly our bodies can give out on us.

Here are three basketball injuries that will make you shake your head in bewilderment.

John Wall slips and falls, tears Achilles

I have tripped and slipped at least a hundred times in my house—usually as the result of a dog screeching to a halt right at my feet when I’m walking.

Cue angry New Yorker yelling, “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!”

On January 8, 2019, Washington Wizards guard John Wall underwent season-ending surgery on his left heel. The incision became infected, so already he was in a bad spot.

To make matters worse, he ruptured his Achilles after slipping and falling in his home.

It’s unclear HOW exactly Wall slipped. Getting out of the shower? While making a five-course meal in the kitchen? On a rogue banana peel?

What we do know is in the summer of 2017, John Wall signed a $170 million contract extension with the Wizards and then never played another game for them once the contract actually kicked in. Wild.

Lionel Simmons plays too much Nintendo

Lionel Simmons was always one of my favorite “obscure” 1990s players.

He played college ball at LaSalle, which is kind of the same initials as his name. And his nickname was L-Train, which is choo-choopendous.

He was also a playable character in the NBA Jam franchise. That introduced him to a swath of people that weren’t Sacramento Kings fans.

But none of that is the relatable part (unless you also went to LaSalle or have the nickname “L-Train”). What IS relatable is how Simmons hurt himself during his rookie season.

There was this newfangled device that came out in the summer of 1989 called the Nintendo Game Boy. Simmons was drafted the following season. And boy, did he sure love to game.

In fact, Simmons was SO into the handheld Nintendo device that he developed tendinitis in his wrist and forearm.

He only missed two games, which isn’t so bad in the grand scheme of things. But considering all of his teammates missed zero games from playing Nintendo products, it’s still kind of embarrassing (though quite relatable).

B.J. Tyler ices his knee for TOO LONG

B.J. Tyler attended DePaul and Texas in college, playing well enough to be chosen 20th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

In his first season, he played 55 games and averaged 3.5 points and 3.2 assists.

Not fantastic numbers by any stretch, but the Toronto Raptors, who hadn’t yet played an official game, saw enough potential that they took Tyler during the NBA expansion draft before the 1995-96 season.

According to journalist Chris Young’s book Drive, Tyler fell asleep with an ice pack on his knee. The resulting cold led to such extensive nerve damage that Tyler never played again.

Luckily for him, he had just signed a guaranteed five-year, $6 million with the Raptors.

I didn’t find anything where Tyler confirms this story, so it’s possible this tale is just an urban legend that’s gained steam over the years.

Still, ice is supposed to heal our ouchies. To think it could do the exact opposite and ruin all athletic ability?

Makes me glad I didn’t have that much athletic ability to begin with.