Chet Holmgren’s Injury Nightmare a familiar scenario of the NBA

Via John Fanta
FOX Sports College Basketball Writer

The Chet Holmgren time will have to wait.

Holmgren, the most debated prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft, will hit the shelves for the entirety of his supposed rookie year due to a Lisfranc injury to his right leg, Thunder announced on Thursday morning.

The debacle is exactly what NBA generals and talent reviewers feared about Holmgren, whose 7-foot, 195-pound frame was a point of concern for some leading up to the draft. . Selection, made by Thunder general manager Sam Presti, is considered high risk, high reward.

The nature of the trauma is very odd, occurring during an exhibition event – “CrawsOver Pro-Am” by Jamal Crawford in Seattle. But perhaps of greater concern for the Thunder is the long history behind the big boys with lower back injuries.

In a sense, Holmgren’s current situation is reminiscent of Greg Oden, who picked No. 1 overall in 2007. Oden was surrounded by extraordinary expectations when he left Ohio State after a college career. hell, but ended up missing his rookie season because of a knee injury and over the next two seasons, he only appeared in 82 games in total.

While Oden’s body type is the opposite of Holmgren’s, he certainly faces too many traumatic issues to overcome. After a brief comeback attempt with Miami at the age of 26, Oden was dropped from the tournament.

Unfortunately, Oden is not the only player with injuries that keep them from reaching their full potential. Just look at the No. 1 draft pick of 2002 Yao Ming.

Of course, when Ming went on the floor, he was the All-Star center – his number 11 was retired by Houston Rockets for a reason. But in just eight seasons, Ming missed 180 games. From osteoarthritis in his left big toe in 2005, to a broken foot in 2006, to a stress fracture in his left ankle in 2010, the injuries continued. increase for the Chinese superstar.

Sure, Thunder it would have been fun for Holmgren to be named an All-Star eight times like Ming, but the number of injuries Ming has endured has prevented him from becoming the legendary superstar he could have become, and perhaps has. prevented Houston from winning the championship.

Another example of an injury accident came from pick #2 of the 1984 draft overall Sam Bowie, who was chosen by the Trail Blazers (instead of Michael Jordan, famously) as the center of the franchise’s next franchise. them after Bill Walton, whose first two seasons in Portland were marred by a chronic foot injury. Notice a trend? Poor Portland.

Bowie, 7 feet-1 Kentucky superstar number 31 retired by Wildcats in 2002, he was really dealing with injury before he really turned pro. After his sophomore all-American season in Lexington, Bowie’s was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his left tibia. That led to a domino effect of injuries, including an additional fracture that forced the big man to miss two straight college basketball seasons.

During his comeback campaign and senior year of college, Bowie helped the Wildcats reach the 1984 Finals with an AP All-American Team Second season but played only three seasons in five years of college basketball prompting some reviewers suspect.

Bowie made it through his rookie season unscathed, being selected as the All-NBA Rookie Team after averaging 10.0 points and 8.6 pounds. But just when it looked like he might be an All-Star in Year 2, Bowie’s tibia nightmare recurred.

In 1985, he broke his left tibia. The five games that were supposed to be his comeback campaign in 1986, he broke his right tibia at the end of the season. While he averaged 10.9 points and 7.5 goals per game in his 11 NBA seasons, he could never have survived being that #2 pick.

Still, there is hope for Holmgren. The more recent NBA top draft picks overcame health setbacks early in their careers and shined in their later years.

1 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, was named NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2010-11 campaign after missing his rookie season due to a knee injury, and he has been named an All-Star six times in his career. There is also the NBA champion to score Joel Embiidwho spent two consecutive seasons through injury before debuting a stellar career, with five consecutive All-Star picks.

And Udonis Haslem, who suffered the same injury (Lisfranc) as Holmgren back in 2010, has had a long career since, agreed just last week to play his 20th season with the Heat.

There are plenty of early injury examples throughout NBA history to choose from, both good and bad. But because there were questions about whether Holmgren’s unusual frame could withstand the wear and tear of the NBA, the injury rekindled that debate.

The good news is that Holmgreen has not had any significant injuries before. In fact, his final failure came when he broke his wrist in sixth grade.

But if NBA history is a guide, what Holmgren ended up being in the NBA carries a huge amount of variance. As for Holmgren and the Thunder God, along with the rest of us, we’ll just have to wait and see.

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling the game on FS1 to serving as main presenter on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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