Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Later today, Boom Tho heads to the southwest for a game in Albuquerque against the Thunderbirds. My team is confident that we can get the victory if we do what we're supposed to, and I've already got a few people lined up to use my free tickets. It figures to be a pretty successful trip except for one thing: I might not play. Let me tell you why.

On Saturday we played in Sioux Falls. These guys are our rivals, a rivalry that borders on the Bulls-Pistons level back in the day. I mean, I guess I should say it's as close to that kind of hard-fought, knockdown, drag-out rivalry as a minor league basketball rivalry can be. The guys on each team are usually some of the best in the D-League. They have been with the same team for years. Of course, the whole "North Dakota vs. South Dakota" thing plays a part. The attendance is the best in the league for these games. There's just a lot of emotion involved every time we play.

Well, the last game was no different. We were playing hard, talking trash, battling for every loose ball and scrapping for every point. This continued until halfway through the fourth quarter when my team started to make a run that would ultimately determine the outcome of the game.

We pushed our lead out to about nine or 10 when a rebound bounced out to Richard Hendrix. I took off running and it led to a two-on-one break with me and my PG. Right when we got to the other end, he fed me the ball. I took one dribble to the other side of the hoop to avoid the shot blocker, went up and ... all of a sudden I wasn't going up, but out. I was flying completely sideways into the base of the hoop. It was actually a pretty frightening feeling having no control of my body.

I laid there for a minute, listening to the crowd go crazy, and trying to get myself together. It didn't take me long to realize that I had been pushed. Hard. I got up angry, but completely unsure of who had done it and if it was on purpose. The referees then issued a Flagrant 2 to Bobby Jones and he was ejected from the game. I had so much adrenaline flowing that I couldn't feel a thing expect anger and disbelief that that had just transpired.

Once the dust had settled, I knocked down my two free throws and got ready for the next play. The problem was, when the next play started, I couldn't run. At all. I barely made it down the floor in time to foul Glen McGowan, who got angry, yelled, got a T and was also ejected.

I looked over at coach and asked for a sub. There was only a minute left in the game and we had a 15-point lead so I went to the trainer. Pulled hammy was the diagnosis. Coddamn! My stat line for the day was 28 minutes, 15 rebounds and a pulled hammy. Injured by a flagrant foul.

Now I've been rehabbing it for the past few days and hoping to get it right for tomorrow so I can do what I do. I feel Chase Budinger's pain, I guess. Although, I'm sure his face is fine by now and my hammy may need a couple more days. Maybe I'd prefer the face stomp.

Or maybe not.

See you in Albuquerque.

Rod Benson is a Cal grad who plays for the D-League's Dakota Wizards. When he's not busy rehabbing, he blogs one or two times a week on Ball Don't Lie. Read his archive, pay a visit to and always support the Boom Tho movement.

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