Fortunately, this appears to be not too serious — Ja Morant has returned to the game.
However, he took a nasty fall in the first half in Indiana. Morant drove the lane, Myles Turner came over to block his shot, and Morant landed and fell into a baseline cameraman, with Morant’s back hitting the man’s knee.
Morant had to be helped off the court and did not return in the first half.
That’s the kind of injury that scares teammates, fans, and other players around the league.
Fortunately, later in the second half, Morant returned to the court.
This will spark conversation about the cameras along the NBA baseline.
Back in 2014, the NBA reduced the number of camera spots along every NBA baseline (10 per side, 20 total), and created an “escape lane” on either side of the basket stanchion where players with momentum could run up without hitting anything. A couple of years later, they banned the sideline camera position near the scorer’s table. All of this was done with safety in mind.
Is it enough? As long as there are cameras and people holding them on the baseline, there are going to be collisions. It’s inevitable. Is the admittedly good angled shot from those cameras worth the risk to players?
One could try to argue pushing the cameras back further, but that would get into the very expensive seats sold at every arena just behind those photographers and cameramen, you think teams are going to give up that revenue?
Expect the debate to ramp up on this topic in the coming days after the early Rookie of the Year frontrunner — and exciting player to watch — could have suffered a very serious injury on this fall.