Continuing their rapid execution of justice against the reign of terror that the Golden State Warriors have afflicted upon the NBA for the past half-decade, the basketball gods unfortunately chose two-time MVP and paradigm-shifting genius Steph Curry as their latest victim in the Warriors’ 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
I was in the midst of enjoying the end to a rare blowout victory by the New York Knicks over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night when a studio update, or some equivalent thereof, passed along the news, complete with accompanying video: DeMarcus Cousins had sustained some grave leg injury. Soon thereafter, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the worst: that Cousins had torn his Achilles tendon and would miss 6-10 months, ending his season and raising questions aplenty for the present and future of his current team, the New Orleans Pelicans.
The film was predictably mundane, the perennial All-Star having gone to contest a rebound on his own missed foul shot against Trevor Ariza before crumbling to the floor. No gruesome, Gordon Hayward/Paul George/Kevin Ware-esque action, nor anything you would notice without the assistance of slow motion replay, struck Cousins, yet there he was, on the floor of an arena full of fans that had embraced him wholeheartedly since arriving from Sacramento during the All-Star break last year. They may have wished him their final farewell on Friday night, prematurely and unexpectedly.
Talent is, for lack of a better explanation or phrasing, born into each of us. Whether we find our talent or not, and whose responsibility that is, can guide us to the almighty fulfilling of potential. It can be difficult, and some of us spend entire lifetimes searching for that fulfillment, as if those who’ve figured it out are members of a clandestine organization which exists merely to minimize the fact that, hey, you found $5 on the ground today, and isn’t that swell? Pay your taxes on time, save up, and maybe one day you too (yes, you!) will be able to shell out upwards of $240 for the privilege of taking your family to see a pair of so-called “professional basketball clubs” play against one another, but gee, they sure do try hard, don’t they?
On Saturday night, the St. Louis Rams lost their starting quarterback and implicit hero of the future, Sam Bradford, to a season-ending injury in a preseason game against, of all teams, the Cleveland Browns. Because of a 2012 trade involving draft picks which allowed Washington to select Robert Griffin III (himself no stranger to the infirmary), the Rams are essentially left without a Plan B outside of 34-year-old former Amsterdam Admiral Shaun Hill. For what it’s worth, St. Louis has expressed interest in acquiring Mark Sanchez from the Philadelphia Eagles, but you won’t see any positive letters of recommendation from this writer.
It has now been almost two weeks since Paul George fell awkwardly on a (non-regulation, apparently) basket stanchion after fouling James Harden during a Team USA scrimmage, breaking his leg in spectacularly horrific fashion. Forget the Indiana Pacers’ championship hopes; they will be lucky to make the playoffs fielding a starting five which will probably consist of George Hill, Rodney Stuckey (!), C.J. Miles, a soon-to-be 34-years-old David West and Roy Hibbert, who at times seems as close to being out of the league as he is to being Defensive Player of the Year.
But what of George, once pegged as the perfect foil to LeBron James? And what of their formerly top-heavy Eastern Conference, in light of the Pacers’ fall? Are rival fans selfish to see this for what it is, a boon for their own teams?