Derrick Rose rips up his ACL on a non-contact play. Hours later, the Knicks’ Iman Shumpert tears his ACL on another non-contact play.
Two major injuries that happen just after a lockout-induced, compressed NBA schedule where a lot of guy missed games… kind of thing that makes you draw connections in your head.
Don’t. They are unrelated.
NBA Commissioner David Stern got testy when asked about it in Indianapolis Monday, reports Shaun Powell at NBA.com’s Hangtime Blog.
“What ve’re trying to do is get facts and so we asked doctors. Derrick Rose actually missed 27 games. But far be it for me to ask (the basketball pundits) to have some facts to support anything. It’s really shocking to me. I searched (ESPN’s NBA show) for a fact. All we got were opinions. I think we’ve averaged about five ACLs a year. Over this past weekend we had two. We’re not looking to average it out, believe me. Facts would be good, though. Information will free you. And I wish our broadcasters would use it.”
Our nature as human beings is to try and draw connections in our head — we don’t want to think bad things “just happen.” We don’t like random, we want a reason. We want someone to blame.
So when two guys go down with ACL injuries within hours of each other, we want to blame something. When normally sturdy Dwight Howard has a back injury, we want to blame something. We want to draw connections.
Here’s the fact — ACL tears are not an overuse injuries. Every time you run and jump you do not move closer to an ACL injury. Here is what a doctor told the Associated Press.
“There is no evidence that wear and tear, or that kind of issue, playing too much, really has any correlation with ACL injuries in any sport that we’ve ever studied,” Dr. David Altchek from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York said Sunday.
But the compressed season has made guys tired and…
“In fact, I think if you’re tired, you’re a lot less likely to tear your ACL because you’re not going to be as explosive,” said Altchek, who has operated on players such as Josh Howard, David West and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel, and been a consultant for the NBA.
Injuries were not up in the NBA this season. Games missed were up because the sprained ankle that kept a guy out five days meant he missed three or four games instead of two, but the number of injuries were not up.
Stop blaming Tom Thibodeau for Rose. Sometimes things just happen. Sorry, but it’s the truth.