Last night, the Lakers lost big to the Blazers. The Blazers are a fun team to watch–a talented, young group of guys coached into a really watchable brand of ball–and got up big in the first half. They continued their dominance in the third quarter against a positively Van Gundian defensive effort from the Lake-show. It was getting nasty, and with 3 seconds left in the third, Slam Dunk competitor Rudy Fernandez had a wide-open dunk that would have been quite a punctuation mark on the end of the quarter. Trevor Ariza (LA kid, 6-8 swingman and attendee of UCLA) went for and got the block on the play, but caught Fernandez’ arm and brought him down hard, if unintentionally.
Fernandez had to be taken off the court in a neck brace and a stretcher. ‘Twas a scary moment.
As a basketball aficionado and weekend warrior I am compelled to comment on these events:
- First off, I’m glad Fernandez is OK. Any time you fall, from any height, at any speed, nasty things can happen.
- But nice job, Ariza. No easy baskets, especially if you’re down 30 and some dude’s trying to show off.
- And Fernandez: maybe just go for a layup next time? If you’re up 30, there’s no need to show off with a dunk. Especially one that’s going to be contested. It’s just a bad idea.
- If you get wheeled off the court, you can’t have your “injury” listed as a contusion the next day. They don’t make athletes the way they used to. It should be a rule. At least have the trainers list it as something more serious so we don’t question your pain tolerance. I personally know a 60-year-old guy that has fused vertebrae, had open-heart surgery and wears every kind of brace known to man, and he still hoops it up every weekend. Get it together, Rudy.
- NBA players: give it a rest with the body armor and pads, especially if more people are going to get carted off for a bruise. After all, a guy from the X-Games fell from 45 feet (his shoes came off!) and walked away. He had no idea where he was, but he walked away. Learn from it.