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Benched: 5 of the Worst Sports Injuries the NBA Has Ever Seen 14

Posted on February 16, 2014 by Dixie Somers
After colliding with Gilbert Arenas, Marquis Daniels was motionless on the court for several minutes.

After colliding with Gilbert Arenas, Marquis Daniels was motionless on the court for several minutes.

People don’t often think of basketball when they think of gruesome injuries. The reality is that basketball is a dangerous sport, and the NBA has seen it’s share of blood and gore over the years. With huge men running at full speed and jumping to grab the ball, there is plenty that can go wrong. Take a look at five of the worst injuries the National Basketball Association (NBA) has ever seen.

Joel Pryzbilla‘s Knee
On December 22nd, 2009, Joel Pryzbilla of the Portland Trailblazers suffered one of the worst knee injuries in the history of the NBA. Pryzbilla was playing center against the Dallas Mavericks. Pryzbilla was attempting to jump up to grab an offensive rebound when he landed awkwardly on his right leg. The result was a ruptured and dislocated patella that caused Pryzbilla to miss substantial time away from the court. Pryzbilla missed the remainder of that season after surgery, and his career was never really the same after that.

Rudy Tomjanovich‘s Face
Rudy Tomjanovich suffered one of the most incredible and gruesome facial injuries in NBA history on December 9th, 1977. Tomjanovich was a forward, and he was playing against Kermit Washington’s Los Angeles Lakers. There was a scuffle on the court. Washington unloaded a vicious punch on Tomjanovich that broke his jaw and actually caused life-threatening head injuries. He was sidelined for five months, but he eventually did make a full recovery.
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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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