As if Andrei Kirilenko’s head bouncing of the floor isn’t bad enough, there was another overseas injury nightmare this weekend. JR Smith hurt his knee in one of those non-contact injuries that always scares the hell out of you. Here’s video of the injury (via the Denver Post):
It’s just an awkward step and then agonizing pain. How agonizing? Take a look at the pain he was in on the bench:
It’s obvious he’s in a lot of pain from that second video. You can hear him almost hyperventilating as he tries to deal with the pain. To make matters worse, he was forced to walk down a flight of stairs and through who knows how much of the building just to get into an ambulance.
These are truly nightmare scenarios. Kirilenko and Smith are good players, and you’d have to think that the Jazz and Nuggets (I know they’re free agents, but their teams can still keep these guys) front offices are cursing this lockout up and down.
And what about Smith, who was playing out free agency before, hopefully, coming back to hook on with a team to end the season? Kirilenko’s nose will heal, but Smith’s facing a potentially serious knee injury derailing his free agency. On top of it all, he’s in China, where none of us know how doctors will treat him. Will the team influence them to clear him sooner? Will they give him the proper care if it is serious? Will the team just cut him loose, and let him fend for himself?
This is the scary part of the overseas experiment. This time it’s Smith and Kirilenko. Whose to say it won’t be Kevin Durant and Dirk Nowitzki next? I know that injuries can happen anywhere at any tiime, but this is what a lot of people were afraid of.
Smith is getting an MRI today, and his dad told Yahoo that it might not be TOO bad. But it’s bad enough for people back here to take notice. Now to see who gets spooked by it more: The owners who invest their money in the players, or the players looking for places to ride out the lockout.