Issue 106: The Silliest Ways to Get Injured, NBA Edition

Basketball is a tough sport. On any given possession, you’re getting shoved by other players, having your jersey grabbed and yanked, running into brick walls of screens, running around brick walls of screens, jumping, cutting, and generally making your body perform at a high level.

It’s no wonder the sport also introduces so many injuries. A rolled ankle here, a tweaked hamstring there. A back spasm, an ACL tear, a broken nose…they’ll happen just about every season.

But sometimes, an athlete suffers an injury that doesn’t occur between the sidelines. Rather, they hit the injured list with a far more embarrassing ailment. And since I’ve been sick this entire week, let’s indulge in a few of the finest maladies the league has ever seen.

That time Derrick Rose fell asleep next to a knife

Derrick Rose has experienced several devastating injuries throughout his career, most notably an ACL tear during the waning moments of the Chicago Bulls’ first playoff game in 2012 — perhaps their best post-Jordan chance to win a title. Instead, Rose went down, and with him, any championship hopes the Bulls had.

An ACL tear is certainly understandable, but back when Rose was a spry young rookie in 2008, he had a much more ridiculous injury.

As one does, he was craving a snack while lounging at home, so he picked up an apple and a knife to cut off manageable bite-size pieces.

He then proceeded to take a nap in the bed. After getting up, he forgot the knife was still with him, which resulted in Rose cutting his arm open and needing 10 stitches.

This is precisely why I use an apple slicer instead of the sharpest knife possible.

Charles Barkley, Eric Clapton fan

After winning the MVP in 1993, Charles Barkley sought to defend his title the following year. What better way to relax than by attending an Eric Clapton concert?

However, there was a slight problem: Barkley had recently used lotion on his hands, and when he rubbed his eyes, the lotion burned his corneas and ended up blurring his vision, causing him to miss the start of the season.

I…I have so many follow-up questions here. How much lotion was Barkley using? Did he bring it with him or did he put it on at home? What’s his favorite Clapton song?

Amar’e Stoudemire lends a hand to a fire extinguisher

I totally understand that basketball is a tough sport and emotions run high during a game. I know I’ve certainly cursed and expressed frustration before. But I’m able to stop short of physical violence.

Of course, I’m also not a huge athlete being paid millions of dollars and trying to win a playoff game. And that’s what Amar’e Stoudemire was doing in 2012.

Alas, the New York Knicks were struggling against the Miami Heat, and after going down 2-0 in the series, Stoudemire had to let out some anger. Unfortunately, he did it against a fire extinguisher.

He ended up lacerating his non-shooting hand, leaving the arena in a sling. The injury required stitches and Stoudemire missed the following game. The Heat won the series in five games.

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay wrote a brilliant fake oral history about this moment, too. Highly recommend.

Luc Longley versus Mother Nature

Luc Longley won three championship rings with the Bulls during his career, but more importantly, he has some terrific stories, several of which have come after injuries.

During the 1996-97 season, Longley went body surfing with teammate Jud Buechler and separated his shoulder, missing two months.

At the time, Longley said he had fought a shark. “He was bigger than me – and better looking,” before confessing the truth.

By April 2000, Longley was a member of the Phoenix Suns. He played through a pair of scorpion stings, one to his foot and another to his buttocks.

How did he suffer this injury? While sitting on the floor of his home, going through his CD collection. If that doesn’t rock you like a hurricane, I don’t know what will.

Matt Bonner’s iPhone misadventure

Former San Antonio Spurs big man and sandwich aficionado Matt Bonner had one of his worst years during the 2014-15 season. Normally a three-point marksman, he had a stretch where he was shooting 32.4 percent — before and after that down stretch, he was making 42.8 percent of his shots.

Bonner had a theory for the off-shooting.

“When the new iPhone came out it was way bigger than the last one, and I think because I got that new phone it was a strain to use it, you have to stretch further to hit the buttons, and I honestly think that’s how I ended up developing [tennis elbow].”

That was the iPhone 6. I don’t even want to know what he thinks of today’s phones.

It’s a good reminder for all of us to take a break from technology now and again. And that’s perfect timing because this email is done.

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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