Afterword to “Of Flat Tires & Brittle Basketball Players”

Afterword to ‘Flat Tires’ & Brittle Basketball Players

Andrew Charniga

Three articles posted in 2019 have been removed from the site to appear in ebook form as part of a series of essays on injury susceptibility in sport. They will be re – posted briefly on www.sportivnypress with some alterations in the originals. The most pertinent being the addition of more catastrophic injuries to NBA players. For instance, at least six NBA players suffered Achiles tendon ruptures between January 1 and December 31, 2019. The original article titled “Of Flat Tires and Brittle Basketball Players” listed ‘only’ twenty seven (27) incidences. Since the time that essay appeared; there have been three (3) more bringing the total to 30 known catastrophic lower extremity injuries of this type.

Consequently, with six alone in 2019, and twenty five since 2000; this is an uptick of what should be acknowledged an obvious trend. Furthermore, these figures cannot be considered a final tally; as they were culled from news reports. If anything, the quantity of just this one injury must be higher. They are further corroboration of the conclusions drawn in previous articles of “Reverse Engineering Injury Mechanism”. Injuries of this sort can be traced to an inability to move about, slip, or fall safely under what are reasonably normal circumstances; a lack of compliance. 

For example, consider two incidences which occurred within days of each other in December 2019:

Figures 1 & 2. Two elite NBA players rupture Achilles tendon in top photos: left ankle;  and bottom photos: right ankle; taking a step forward on one leg with injury occurring as knee angle of bending leg approaches 90°.

As of December 2019 there were at least three Achilles injuries of this type in collegiate basketball and by December 31, 2019 seventeen (17) in the NFL; plus, an additional two if you count the two NFL head coaches (Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers) who went down. However, the circumstances surrounding the two injuries depicted above are astonishing, to say the least. 



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