April 08, 2010
A stinger is a nerve pinch injury that typically affects nerves in the neck. According to noted medical text Wikipedia, stingers occur in one of two ways: "either the head and neck are forced toward the shoulder, compressing the nerves that lead from the spinal cord to that arm, or the head and neck are forced away from the shoulder, stretching those nerves."
Apparently there's a third cause of stingers — barrelling head-first in to Kevin Durant's chest.
We need to talk about how weird this whole sequence is.
Obviously, first and foremost is 'Melo collapsing and Thunder fans booing because they don't know he's hurt. That's strange enough.
Then things go haywire because the game keeps happening and even the announcers are like, "huh?" Realizing they have numbers on offense because of the opposing superstar just laying on the other side of the court while his teammates tend to him, the Thunder try a fast break out of an in-bounds pass and turn the ball over almost instantly. Getting weirder.
But then, just so everybody remembers who they're dealing with, J.R. Smith(notes) decides that he's not going to call a time-out even though his teammate is still laying in the middle of the lane, which should have been a three-seconds violation now that I think about it. Maybe this part is totally normal because I'll admit that if I were imagining this whole situation, J.R. Smith would definitely ignore the guy lying on the floor. He's flighty like that.
Finally, for the coup de grâce, Smith tries a leaning finger-roll from 12 feet out that ends up about eight feet short. That's when I went cross-eyed.
Thankfully, Carmelo Anthony is fine. He even hit a couple of clutch free throws to ice the game a quarter later. Him making free throws after suffering a neck stinger is about the only thing that makes sense in this whole thing. I need some ibuprofen.
(video via Outside the NBA)