Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Get Well, Devin

TigerBlog went to the lives stats Sunday night to see how Devin Cannady was doing for the Orlando Magic in their game against the Indiana Pacers.

He saw Cannady's line: 1 min, 1 foul. That's okay, TB thought. It's still early. And that was the best part. 

Here he was, playing in the first quarter, getting real minutes.

Then he checked back later and saw that it was still the same stat line. Then he saw on Twitter why: Cannady, the Princeton alum, had suffered a devastating ankle injury.

Like pretty much everyone else who saw the news, TigerBlog had his heart sink. How could you not? 

Here was Cannady, who had worked through so much to get to where he was, in the NBA. He wasn't just in the league. He was showing he could, as TB has said several times, stick around for awhile. 

During the last few games, his minutes played had gone up. The game before the Pacers' game, Cannady had scored 17 points. If you saw the highlights, you saw a really, really confident player:

Like TB said, Cannady was playing with great confidence. And with great joy. It's a great combination. And it certainly was paying off in results on the court.

And then, after just one minute in the next game, his season was over. The play in question came when Cannady sprinted back to contest a shot at the basket on defense.

TigerBlog hasn't watched the video. He has no interest in that. 

He was watching the Monday Night Football game in 1985 when Joe Theismann broke his leg against the Giants. The video of that was gruesome enough. He doesn't need to see the same kind of video involving Cannady.

TB read that Cannady's teammate Mo Bamba took off his jersey and put it over the injury so that neither Cannady nor anyone in the arena could see it. There was clearly blood on the court too.

This is what Bamba said after the game:

"I saw my teammate down, and I did what he would have done for me. I didn't want him to see it, so i took the shirt off my back and gave it to him. It's something he would have done for me. It was tough. I'd be lying to say it wasn't tough to play afterwards. If you ask Devin if he regrets playing defense the way he did, he'd say no."

TB would agree with the last part. He didn't get to where he was by not going full-out at all times.

It was that attitude that took him from Princeton, where he is the school's fifth all-time leading scorer, to the G League, where he had a big year last year for the Long Island Nets and then was the MVP of the finals this year for the Lakeland Magic.

And then he signed a 10-day contract. And then a two-way contract.

At first, it seemed like his ankle had been broken. The Magic then put out a statement that said that he instead suffered an open right ankle dislocation with a severe lateral ankle sprain. He had surgery to repair the damage, and now the long road back begins for him.

Cannady will throw himself into that rehab with the same nonstop energy and passion that got him to reach the top in the first place. Of that you can be sure. If attitude is the key, then he'll be just fine. 

There was one image from the game the other night that TB did see, and that was Cannady on the stretcher being taken off the court after the injury. 

As TB saw that, he felt awful for the young man - and hopeful that it wasn't the last time he'll be wearing an NBA uniform.

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