Late Tuesday night, word flashed across the nation’s sports minded smartphones that the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose would be shortly heading into surgery, this time to repair a fractured orbital bone in his face which was broken by a teammate’s accidental elbow. There is no timetable for his return, though he may be ready to go by the Bulls’ season opener on October 27 against LeBron and the Cavs. For NBA fans, this news felt right in line with the sui generis life of Rose, a player of incredible talent who has an equally incredible knack for hurting himself.
Elbows– both errant and intentional– literally abound on basketball courts across the country. Charles Barkley preferred a classic swing; Oscar Robertson threw them with his legs; Kevin Garnett is lucky his face wasn’t six inches to his left when Vince Carter threw his in the form of a fist after completing one of the most incredible plays ever in basketball. Dudes named Big A, Sarge, E, and Trey still and will always swing them at neighborhood Friday night runs, their courts lit through a haze of bugs by jaundiced cones of light.