Dwyane Wade and Purple RainI hope that Dwyane Wade makes a full and speedy recovery from his shoulder injury. Meanwhile, am I the only one who thought that using a wheelchair and then a stretcher for an arm injury was a bit over the top? I'm no doctor but I recall Jack Youngblood playing in the NFC Championship and then the Super Bowl with a broken leg. I'm guessing that he would not require a wheelchair for a shoulder injury. Scottie Pippen returned to game six of the 1998 NBA Finals despite having not one but two ruptured lumbar disks that ultimately required surgery. I have some personal experience regarding that type of injury and I find it difficult to believe that a dislocated shoulder is more painful or debilitating than the radiculopathy that results from a ruptured disk pressing on a nerve. The first thing that I thought of when Wade was wheeled off the court was the scene from Purple Rain when the police drew a chalk outline on the ground after a suicide attempt; chalk outlines are used to indicate where somebody died, not where somebody was wounded, so that seemed a little overly dramatic (as a VH1 special about the movie pointed out). Being wheeled off of the court for an arm injury also seems to be a bit overly dramatic. I remember when ex-NFL player Chris Spielman talked about how he abhorred when players were helped off of the field only to return to action minutes later. He vowed that if he were ever helped off of the field he would retire--and he did just that after being helped off the field after suffering a serious neck injury.
I don't doubt that Wade's shoulder is seriously injured but there is something to be said for not letting your team or the other team see you looking vulnerable. Isiah Thomas had to have dozens of stitches after taking a Karl Malone elbow to the head but he returned to action in that very game; earlier in his career, he scored a Finals record 25 points in one quarter despite a severely sprained ankle. Just tonight, Jason Kidd shook off a sore back and a cracked rib to post a triple double. I am always reluctant to comment about another person's injury but Wade being wheeled off the court after a shoulder injury just seemed very odd to me. I used to play pickup ball with a guy whose shoulder would periodically come out of its socket. He would propel himself into a wall to push it back into place and then keep playing. Wade's injury may very well be more serious--and I would not expect a multimillion dollar ball player to propel himself shoulder first into a basket stanchion and then keep playing--but a wheelchair? For an arm injury? What's next--a neck brace for a sprained ankle?
posted by David Friedman @ 1:28 AM