Although basketball is one of the most enjoyable games to both watch and play, a player runs the risk of being injured very severely. This is especially true at the pro level in the NBA. Athletes at the highest levels of competition push their bodies to their limits on a daily basis in order to compete. However, the intensity of the game and the pressure it may have on a player’s body can lead to injury.
Being injured is a part of the game and is actually quite common when playing in the NBA. Players often heal quickly enough to return to the court after just missing a few games. Some injuries, however, can sideline an NBA player for an entire season, and sometimes, deter others from ever stepping on the court again.
Some of the injuries that have occurred throughout NBA history you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. The fact that the players on this list were still able to play basketball after their injuries show their true determination and dedication to the sport.
7-foot-tall NBA big man Andrew Bogut suffered a scary and gruesome injury to his elbow during a game in 2010. The former first overall draft pick lost his grip on the rim and fell to the ground after finishing a fastbreak with a dunk. As he fell, he attempted to stop himself from falling by lowering his arm, but the weight of his body was too great and his elbow snapped and bending the other direction.
The injury was hard to watch. Bogut was ultimately able to make a full recovery and find success with the Golden State Warriors, where he was a key member of the team that won the NBA title in 2015.
Before Paul George made waves in Los Angeles with the Clippers, he was the start of the Indiana Pacers after they chose him with the 10th overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. PG13 had all the makings of a superstar from the beginning, but an injury to his leg while playing for Team USA in 2014 placed him in jeopardy.
During the Team USA game, which took place in August 2014, George fell to the ground while attempting to block a James Harden layup and sustained one of the most horrific injuries in modern NBA history. The game had to be halted because George had an open tibia-fibula fracture, as players watched in disbelief.
It was unclear if George would ever return to the same high-level play as before. He would disprove his critics and show that he is still one of the greatest players in the NBA. Following his catastrophic injury, George spent time in Indiana and Oklahoma City before joining the Los Angeles Clippers, where he currently plays alongside Kawhi Leonard.
With a rebuilt team led by newly-signed players Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics looked to be one of the frontrunners for the NBA title in 2017. Their expectations, however, were soon dashed in the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Hayward fell awkwardly after trying to attempt an alley-oop off a pass from Irving. His leg twisted in an unnatural manner and he would miss the remainder of the season due to a dislocated ankle and a broken tibia.
Ultimately, Hayward would be benched due to the emergence of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and he has never quite played the same since.
There was a lot of potential for Shaun Livingston when the Los Angeles Clippers drafted him with the fourth overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. It is one of the NBA’s greatest what-if scenarios.
In 2007, he was ahead of the defense on a fast break when he went for a layup and landed awkwardly. He damaged almost every portion of his knee as his left leg snapped laterally. Doctors stated his damage was likely the most serious a person could have in the knee, and that his leg may have to be amputated.
Fortunately, Livingston was able to persevere and make an NBA comeback, but never reached the All-Star level most expected him to. Following his return from injury, Livingston spent the next several years bouncing around the league before serving as a key role player for the Golden State Warriors in 2014. Livingston helped the team win championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018.
He still has a success story as an NBA player, but could he have achieved greater individual success had he not been injured?
Sports injuries are serious. If you’re not an NBA player, you may have more to lose. If you suffered an injury while playing sports and someone else is responsible, you may want to consult with a legal professional. For those injured in New York City, it’s best to find the best personal injury attorney NYC. In another state, reach out to an attorney in that area. Legal advice can help you discover if you have a case or not.