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In his 1992 standup special "Jammin' in New York," legendary comedian George Carlin spends several minutes discussing the small habits and eccentricities that unite us as humans (video NSFW, if you're unfamiliar with Carlin's work). While the observations are all related to minor phenomena — looking at a watch and then immediately forgetting what time it is, thinking there's another step while walking down stairs in the dark, etc. — they serve as reminders that human beings have more in common than they don't. We're all capable of silly lapses in judgment and sanity, and remembering as much can help us avoid conflict and petty disagreements.
The same goes for professional athletes and the distinctly less talented fans who watch them on a daily basis. Sure, these physical specimens may do things that you and I can only dream of, but they're still prone to the same kinds of absent-minded injuries that befall us all.
Like, say, accidentally closing a car door on a major appendage, breaking a thumb, and requiring surgery. Just ask Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey. From the Associated Press:
The Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey broke a bone in his right thumb after catching it in a car door.
The Pistons said Thursday that Stuckey, injured Wednesday, will have surgery Friday and that a timeline for his return will be determined after the procedure. Stuckey averaged 11.5 points in 76 games last season.
It's hard not to hear this news and feel some measure of empathy for Stuckey. Accidentally slamming a door on your hand is a mark of universal human frailty, the incredibly painful corollary to closing the car door as you simultaneously realize that you've locked your keys inside it. It's even worse for Stuckey, too, because his error will actually keep him from working at a major point in the NBA season.
It's particularly problematic because of his uncertain role in the Pistons' crowded backcourt. With free agent signing Brandon Jennings entrenched as starting point guard, the Pistons must sort off-guard options that include Stuckey, beloved returning Piston Chauncey Billups, the versatile Kyle Singler, and lottery pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Within that group, Stuckey stands out both as someone who's gotten a chance to prove himself in the past and as a player whose skills may be deemed redundant to more dependable and/or less familiar options. The time he misses after Friday's surgery could have served as his opportunity to force his way back into Detroit's long-term plans.
It must be especially painful for Stuckey, then, to know that he injured himself due to a random occurrence. We feel for him and hope he returns soon.