May 20, 2010
Throughout an NBA season every player suffers some kind of little injury here or there. How they handle that injury helps color our perspective of that player. We think Vince Carter(notes) is soft because he'll sit out three games with an itchy shoulder, while we adore Steve Nash(notes) for playing even though his eyeball fell out. With that in mind, we can safely add the New York Knicks' Wilson Chandler(notes) to the tough guy list.
It's true that he missed the last month of the season with a groin injury and then subsequently had ankle surgery after his deactivation, but for the two months prior to that, Wilson Chandler was toughing out a pretty serious injury. The New York Post's Marc Berman has the story:
Chandler played with a broken nose until he was shut down in mid-March, as I reported in today's Post.
Chandler did not use a mask or protective shield, which was unusual and dangerous, considering how often he drives to the hole. After the season, Chandler has had nose surgery to reset it, another ankle surgery and sports hernia surgery. [...]
The Knicks say the broken nose injury did not effect his play, he didn't miss any games and there was no reason to divulge.
Eek. Two months of basketball with a broken nose is bad enough. Doing it without a Richard Hamilton(notes) mask or a Manu Ginobili(notes) pad is even worse. Wilson Chandler must have a lot of faith in his elbow-avoiding skills.
Not only am I vehemently against having a broken nose, I am even more against playing with one that could get re-broken in the flare of a nostril. Breathing had to have been hard enough, let alone the pain of running and jumping with broken bones in your face. Though I guess the second part might explain why Chandler was arrested for marijuana possession this week. He was just trying to ease the pain, maaaaaaaaan.