Injuries are bound to happen in any sport, especially one with a lot of contact like basketball. Based on severity, injury duration will always vary. For major injuries, there is a long road back to the court. Some people have speedy recoveries, and some people take longer. It’s rare that a player comes back from a major injury and plays better than before they got hurt. Unfortunately, it’s often the other way around. Stars coming back from a major injury and typically can’t get back to the level that they once played at. Some injuries have been severe enough to end careers right away, crushing the careers of players that could have been great.
Paul George is in the rare group of players that came back from a major injury and played at a higher level than before he was injured. In 2014, George suffered a brutal leg injury playing for Team USA. George would only go on to play in 6 games the following NBA season. With Paul being 24 during his injury, he missed out on a big year to develop as a player. Already being an All-Star twice, it was devastating for Pacers fans that their franchise star was going to miss the season. George worked his tail off during his recovery and on top of playing better than before, he was in MVP conversation after he was traded to the Thunder. It takes an incredible amount of hard work and mental strength to recover from an injury and still continue to be a professional athlete at a high level.
Unfortunately, Derrick Rose wasn’t as lucky. Rose was the youngest player to ever win the MVP award, getting crowned for the 2010-2011 season at only 22 years old. It looked like Rose had the chance to be up there with the All-Time Greats. In the season after the MVP year, Rose tore his ACL in the playoffs. He missed the next season, and only played 10 games the year after that. After leaving the Bulls, he bounced around with the Knicks, Cavaliers, and Timberwolves and will be starting this season with the Pistons. Rose started to miss significant time when he turned 29, only playing 51 games last year, his most healthy season since 2016-2017. While Rose was solid last year, it’s safe to say that injuries stole the prime of Derrick Rose. We missed out on watching an exciting young star potentially turn in to an all time great.
Players getting hurt is hard to see for everyone. As fans, to see a favorite player miss significant time isn’t fun. Different people come back from injuries in different ways. Not saying that George did it all right and Rose did it all wrong, because it depends on the injury and the player to determine how they bounce back. Not every NBA player is the same, so the way that injuries affect them will always vary. It’s hard to control injuries, because a lot of them are from landing the wrong way, which can cost a player their career. Some people get lucky with recovery from big injuries, but unfortunately others aren’t as fortunate.
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