The Golden State Warriors are incredible at basketball with 5 All -Stars on the roster. After they added Kevin Durant in 2016, they only improved. They were 57-25 in the regular season this year, in the playoffs (so far) they’re 9-4. The chemistry has altered between egos. With KD & Curry running the show, this team remains unstoppable.
KD injured; the team going forward
With Durant being injured with a calf sprain, I believe this team is still finding ways to win, beating the Houston Rockets 4-2. I think they desperately need Cousins back as well. Adding another big man gives them the advantage they need on both defense and offense. Green and Thompson have stepped up and are committed to this team and winning another Chip. Surprisingly the team performs better without Kevin Durant. KD will be able to play against Portland, but he’ll miss a few games.
How they can win
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins. Those five in the starting lineup are lethal. If the Warriors want to continue to win, they’ll have to stick together. They need an improved bench because the starters are doing all the work. This team plays well, just a matter of staying consistent.
Coaching & Health concerns
Steve Kerr is the head coach. Since taking over the Warriors are 3-1 in the Finals. He’s a winner, and it shows. KD & Boogie being injured hurts, but doesn’t shut them out. They will still win. Adding those 2 Superstars gives them the bigger advantage. Durant playing right now, he’s the best player in the league. He dominates on each side of the floor.
5th Finals trip
The Warriors are currently 1-0 in the Conference Finals against the Portland Trailblazers. The 2 Curry brothers battling it out will be interesting to watch. If they win this series they’ll face either the Toronto Raptors, or the the Milwaukee Bucks in the Finals. Assuming all 5 All Stars are in the lineup, Giannis or Leonard don’t stand a chance against this squad.
Firstly, just for clarification, this list only includes athletes that had detrimental injuries to an active career. It does not include athletes that got hurt at the end of their careers such as Peyton Manning or Manny Pacquiao. These athletes either retired or had short lived attempted comebacks. The athletes on this list were potentially robbed of Hall of Fame births or being in GOAT conversations. This list covers athletes that career’s were cut short, way to early by an injury that devastated a potential legacy.
7. Daunte Culpepper – Minnesota Vikings
Daunte Culpepper’s breakout season as a quarterback was one of the the greatest ever seen. Culpepper threw for 4717 yards and 39 TDs before he suffered a gruesome knee injury during a game against the Panthers. He had damaged three of four major ligaments in the knee and was placed on IR.
The Vikings gave up on him. A year later the Dolphins gave him a shot. His attempted comeback was a fail. He just couldn’t shake off his injury. In fact the next 5 seasons brought 5 wins, 22 losses and just 22 TDs to 32 INTS. Not good at all. Talk about a fall from grace.
6. Brandon Roy – Portland Trailblazers
Roy played five seasons at a superstar level. He racked up the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, while playing the most minutes of any Western Conference player. Roy tied for most points in the West in the 2008 season. He averaged 22.6 PPG in his best season.
He was entering the height of his career. However, after a degenerative knee condition, he was compelled to retire. He did make a comeback in 2012, playing for just five games, and had to re-retire at just 28 years old, before even reaching his prime.
The mighty “Bam-Bam Cam” is remembered for his rough house style of play. Body checks and fights, hell yeah! His goal scoring capabilities were also a thing to remember. From 1989 to 1991 he scored 50 plus goals in back to back seasons. After suffering a couple terrible knee injuries, the Hall of Famer developed myositis ossificans; which is a painful bone growth within the muscle’s injured area.
He was Sidelined for all but 22 games over the next two seasons. When he played he was still effective. He averaged a goal per contest in those 22 games.
Neely had a quick resurgence is 1993-94 campaign as he scored 50 goals in just 49 games. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for him to officially retire; citing reoccurring knee troubles. He played 13 seasons in the NHL and yet only managed to make it on the ice for 69 games or more just 7 times.
4. Bo Jackson – Oakland Raiders/Kansas City Royals
Jackson is only one of a few athletes to be named All-Star in TWO major sports. Bo knows baseball and football. He is still considered one of the greatest athletes of all time, even to this day. He sustained an NFL injury in 1991 to his hip and that was it. Jackson was diagnosed with a vascular necrosis of the hip joint. All of the cartilage supporting his hip was lost forcing him into early retirement.
The problem with remembering Jackson is that he played for such a short time, in both sports. He doesn’t really have the numbers to suggest he was crushing it. However, the dude was diesel, just take a look at him. He broke a bat over his head for crying out loud!
What we do know is that Bo Jackson was the starting RB and Marcus Allen was relegated to the bench! That’s right Bo Knows Marcus and because Marcus knew Bo, he was a bench warmer. Think about that for a second. Bo Jackson was better than Marcus Allen, and then he got hurt.
3. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose won the MBA MVP in his third season in the league. Firstly, in the 2010-11 NBA season Rose averaged 25 points per game and nearly 8 assists. Secondly, he didn’t just put up numbers, he was absolutely killing the league. He was dunking on peoples heads harder than any 6’3″ point guard has ever done before.
Derrick Rose was Chocolate Thunder and Chris Paul fused together. He was Russell Westbrook before Russell Westbrook was Russell Westbrook, but better. D-Rose was poised for a career that would potentially bring multiple championships. He would see many, many, many individual awards and then boom.
A devastating knee injury changed everything, he was never the same. A player of his caliber, that was as explosive as he was, could not seem to adjust to playing below the rim. Ten years and five teams later he is finally seeing some type of success averaging 18.3PPG as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Unfortunately for D-Rose the breakout season was his best and only MVP level of play.
2. Tiger Woods – Golf
Tiger Woods. What can we say. Fans adored him. The competition feared him. A man at the top of his game with no signs of slowing down. He had won countless tournaments and most notably 14 Majors from 1997 to 2008. Woods was the most dominant professional athlete the world has seen since Muhammed Ali or Bill Russell.
Then he got caught up in sex scandal and had the most drastic and dramatic fall of anyone on this list. Tiger was on his way to pass Jack Nicholoson’s 18 Major Victories. He was the Michael Jordan of Golf, until a back injury derailed him. No one could beat Tiger.
A lot of people attribute Tigers downfall to a mental block. Others credit the back injury. No one really knows what truly happened. Whether it was that back injury or the brain injury. All we know is that Tiger Woods has never been the same.
1. Larry Bird – Boston Celtics
Larry Bird could have gone down as the best player in NBA history. Instead he gets passed up by guys like Lebron James. Larry Legend, passed on the all time greatest list by LBJ. That’s unfortunate because a back injury riddled his career.
The Hick from French Lick went on a tear from 1979 to 1988 until the injury plagued, what would have been, many years of MVP level dominance. In just his 10th season in the NBA “The Great White Hope” only managed to play 6 games. “Kodak” managed to play 3 more seasons after the injury but only one of them was a success. His comeback season he averaged 24.3 points a game in 75 contests.
However the last two seasons Bird knew it was time to hang up the laces. He saw career lows in just about every statistical category including games played and minutes. This injury ranks #1 on the most devastating sports injuries in history for one simple fact. If Larry Bird had played more complete seasons; he might just be compared to MJ rather than the slap in the face comparison to LBJ.
One of the greatest players in NBA history will soon fall outside the top 10 on many sports media lists. Guys like LBJ and Kevin Durant will pad their career stats season after season. Something is said for longevity and continued production. Is Cal Ripken better than Albert Pujols? No, No he is not. And yet…
Sometimes we just have to watch the games.
We have to remember what happened on the floor. Larry Legend would never have made “the decision” to team up with Magic in LA. He would never had handed over Rodney Hood to guard Kevin Durant; to close out a defense possession in the NBA Finals. “The King” permanently diminished his legacy yet has somehow passed Larry Bird on the all time greatest list? Confusing to say the least, but this segment belongs to Larry. So let’s adore him as he deserves.
Larry Bird was one of the fiercest competitors in NBA and all of sports history. Larry Bird was fierce. Bird competed in an era of bruising basketball. He was more than just numbers, he was clutch. The Legend made play after play offensively and defensively. He was a selfless leader and a hero. Larry Bird was and still the best forward in the history of basketball. An injury cut his career short, but we must remember. We must remember how good Larry Bird actually was.
If I had to guess today, Kyrie Irving will most likely not be returning to Boston once the season is over. Hopefully for Celtics Fans, I’m wrong, but if you’ve been paying attention, the signs indicate he’s good as gone.
Before the Trade Went Down
Kyrie Irving demanded a trade from Cleveland before the start of the 2017 season. He wants to be the leader of his own team, escaping the shadow of LeBron James. So the Celtics traded for him. Swapping their PG Isaiah Thomas who was unhealthy with a hip injury, they started fresh with Irving. Cleveland also received a first and second round pick. The Celtics received an All Star PG assuming they could convince him to re-sign long term. In the 2014-2015 season with the Cavaliers, Irving signed a contract for 5 years. Including a player option in the fourth year (We’re in that fourth year now).
Irving’s visible frustrations are showing as the season continues. He wants this team to go exactly his way. Bostoncurrently sits at the 5th seed in the East (38-25). While a playoff push is definitely going to happen, going to the Finals may not happen. Team chemistry is fading and Irving could be the problem. Last year this young, talented Celtics team almost took down LeBron’s led Cavaliers to go to the NBA Finals. All without Kyrie, as he went down with a knee injury. We understand he wants to win, but him taking shots at his teammates, severely puts his leadership into question.
Teaming up in New York
Finally, the KD video we are all still talking about. During All Star weekend it appears that Ky is telling Kevin Durant that the New York Knicks will have 2 max slots in free agency, hinting for them to team up in NY. Now we don’t know for certain if that’s what he said, but him and KD are best friends so one can only wonder.
Come July, Irving will most likely opt-out becoming an Unrestricted free agent. Or he could sign re-sign with Boston and stay put. The Celtics are loaded with talent, it simply cannot only be “Kyrie Irving’s” team. Either he’s going to adjust or possibly head to New York sharing the spotlight once again. We’ll have to sit patiently and wait for July 1st to see how NBA Free Agency plays out.