Half the league seems to be injured right now. It got me to thinking: who are the best players currently messed up in some way?
So here’s our latest attempt at staying relevant in the list-obsessed sports blogging universe: we give you… the Injured Player Power Rankings!
10. Chris Bosh / “fake tough guy” syndrome b/w red right ankle
Though Bosh came back on Sunday (only to get diagnosed a “fake tough guy” by Kevin Durant, the smoothest guy in the league), his injury’s really timeless. Listed as a “sprained right ankle,” Bosh’s more likely injury’s a “red right ankle,” contracted from listening that song by popular indie rock band The Decemberists. Like Bosh, the song relies on a certain tender softness akin to the delicate fold of a lace napkin. As Colin Meloy once sang — perhaps directly referencing the Heat’s finesse big man — “some had crumbled you straight to your knees.”
9. Michael Redd / knee surgery
Unlike the most important member of the Miami Heat, Michael Redd hasn’t made much of an impact for the Bucks lately. In fact, Redd hasn’t done anything for the whole NBA over the last few seasons due to his tendency to break things inside his body… besides, that is, cost Herb Kohl millions of dollars. This once incredible and versatile athlete of the mid-oughts has now been reduced to a miserable fate: living in Wisconsin.
8. Yao Ming / tall man leg problem
The biggest disappointment here’s that Yao’s aborted comeback (and All-Star Game selection) might prevent a fringe player like Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge from making his first All-Star Game. But good luck with the recovery.
7. Greg Oden / tall man leg problem 2
I had the privilege of hearing Bill Walton call the Celtics-Blazers game the other night. Walton clearly hadn’t lost anything from his days as lead colour commentator on national broadcasts and in one great anecdote he shared that he’d spokend with the always-injured Greg Oden before the game. Knowing a thing or two about how injuries can limit one’s potential, Walton recalled how he’d recommended Oden take some time off, move to Hawai’i, become a Zen master, and reinvent himself (spiritually). It was amazing. And screw Trey Kerby for posting about it before I did. Whatever bro, you weren’t there.
6. Tyrus Thomas / left knee injury
Despite the newfound awesomeness of the Charlotte Bobcats, Tyrus Thomas had been struggling until he finally underwent knee surgery a few weeks back. Thomas has been pretty uneven all season, but when he had playing time he usually performed pretty well. It’s a shame to see him out, considering the run that the Bobcats have been on. In his absence, Paul Silas has been running a really tight D’Antoni-esque rotation and they’ve won most of their games. When he returns in March, he’ll have a great role to play.
5. Brandon Jennings / broken foot
Jennings actually came back on Saturday, but the twitpic of his foot and three TVs each showing league pass is just too much to give up. He’s still restricted to very limited minutes for the first few games, so we’re keeping him on the list. I haven’t watched him since his return, but I hope he comes back with a new Gumby haircut or something. We could all reminisce about the glory days of his last season while he gets back into form. His game was advancing this year and while the Bucks seem like a pretty week team, they could still sneak into the playoffs in a top-heavy Eastern Conference. If Jennings isn’t the missing link for Milwaukee’s playoff-push, at least he’ll be able to watch the first round in extreme comfort.
4. Joakim Noah / right thumb surgery
Joakim Noah’s coming back soon, but I still rank him high on the Authoritative List of Power Rankings of Injured Players because he’s so important to the Bulls. Thankfully — and unexpectedly — the decrepit mummy of Kurt Thomas has been raised from the dead to provide a truly frightening semblance of youthful exuberance in their frontcourt. If Joakim hadn’t been injured, he’d likely get a spot as an Eastern Conference All-Star. And Kurt Thomas would have been terrorizing some archaeologists to punish them for violating the sacred rites of the dead.
3. Derrick Rose / double ulcers
Have you ever had an ulcer before? I haven’t… but a very good friend of mine contracted one after exposing himself to an excess of hot sauce and spicy food over several lost years. Unlike my friend, Derrick Rose probably hasn’t had too much habanero paste, but his play over the last few weeks has been pretty spicy. Which I guess could cause an ulcer or two too.
2. Caron Butler / mangled knee
The absence of Caron Butler from the Mavericks has pushed the team into a tailspin. Well, maybe most of that was due to Dirk also missing some time, but Dirk’s been pretty awful since he returned. I wonder if he just misses his buddy? In the playoffs, Butler might’ve complemented Dirk’s big game disappearing act with a steady consistency. But his contract’s trade bait now. Luckily for the Mavs, they were able to smuggle Peja Stojakovic back into the country.
1. Brandon Roy / destroyed leg
Former NBA franchise player, current subject of experimental surgeries. Roy was never a very exciting player to watch and this year his “evolving game” resembled the softest moments of Paul Pierce. Roy dragged his body up and down the court… which is probably what happens when you don’t have any cartilage in your knees. The tragedy of Brandon Roy might be one of the largest bummers of his decade, considering the promise and potential he’s shown over the last few years. At least his tribulations might have inspired the iPhone app QWOP in which players try to help an athlete walk.
(Written by Chris. This post originally appeared on Negative Dunkalectics and is reposted here with permission.)
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