Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard were among the stars to suffer injuries over the last few weeks of the playoffs. Harden returned to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of their matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks but looked like a shell of his actual self. Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul also entered the league’s health and safety protocol after reportedly testing positive for coronavirus.
While James fished for an “I told you so” moment, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told The New York Times that injuries during the 2020-21 season were about the same as 2019-20. The NBA ended the pandemic-effected 2019-20 season in October and picked up the 2020-21 season in December.
“Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons,” Bass said.
“While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic.”
James didn’t respond to the NBA’s comment.
“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just ‘PART OF THE GAME’. It’s the lack of PURE RIM REST rest before starting back up,” he wrote. “8, possibly 9 ALL-STARS has missed Playoff games(most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane. If there’s one person that know (sic) about the body and how it works all year round it’s ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now.”
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Leonard will be the eighth All-Star to miss at least one game during the NBA playoffs, which is a new league record.
Fox News’ Dan Canova contributed to this report.
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