NBA

A Horrific Injury Derailed Baron Davis’ Spectacular NBA Career

Baron Davis was known for his size, built more like a football player than the star basketball player that he was. The point guard who once ruled the league, spent 15 years in the NBA. He was a fantastic player who often found himself playing for bad teams.

The third overall pick of the Charlotte Hornets in the 1999 draft, Davis has played for the Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and New York Knicks.

In 2012, his long-standing career came to a sudden end when he experienced a gruesome injury that left everyone on the court in shock and disbelief. 

A long battle with lingering injuries 

The powerhouse point guard was plagued with lingering health issues throughout most of his career. In 2002, Baron Davis first started experiencing problems with a sore back, which turned into knee problems. He sat out for 32 games that season. The next year was not much better for Davis, who missed six games for a sprained ankle.

In 2005, Davis was traded to the Golden State Warriors. He felt stronger than ever, averaging 19.5 points and 8.3 assists. The Warriors were winning again, and the crowds were returning to the seats to watch the blossoming basketball team.

That is until a sudden losing streak turned into a season-ending injury when Davis hurt his ankle once again. He missed 30 games during the 2005-06 season, and the Warriors never made it to the playoffs.

Over the following years, the All-Star point guard was riddled with hip, back, and hamstring injuries. Despite his amazing accomplishments, he never seemed to get back to feeling 100 percent. He played with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2008 to 2010 and then moved on to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In 2011, the Cavaliers released Davis under the amnesty clause, according to ESPN. He signed with the New York Knicks for the veteran’s minimum and started seven weeks into that first season as a starting point guard.

The aging player was in constant pain from a herniated disk and had to work hard to overcome his deteriorating health. The 33-year-old suffered from recurring issues with his hamstrings and knees throughout most of the regular season that year.

A gruesome injury that led to Baron Davis’ retirement

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In the first game of the 2012 series against the Miami Heat, pain from a previous back injury started to flare up. During game 4 of that series, Davis was dribbling the ball down the court and tried to squeeze his way between two Heat players in the paint. His leg seemed to buckle underneath him, and he went down hard.

Players stood in shock as they saw what appeared to be Davis’ knee cap pop out of his leg. The 6-foot-3 guard was clearly in an immense amount of pain. Team trainers rushed to the floor and tended to his injuries for several minutes before he was taken off the court in a gurney. 

According to ESPN, “He pointed at the crowd as he was wheeled off the floor, to a loud ovation from the Madison Square Garden crowd. But he was shown by television cameras grimacing through the player’s tunnel.”

All the players on the court that afternoon were visibly upset by Davis’ devastating injury. Amare Stoudemire dropped to one knee and said a prayer while his friend laid outstretched on the wooden floor. He told ESPN, “I almost shed a tear on the court, to be honest with you. It was sad.”

The abrupt end to a legendary career

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Medical reports indicated that Baron Davis “suffered a partial tear of the patellar tendon in his right knee and complete tears of the right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.”

In May 2012, Davis underwent extensive surgery to repair the damage. Recovery time was estimated at 12 months, and he became a free agent during that time. Despite his desire to return to the NBA, he never made a comeback.

Those couple of seconds changed the trajectory of Davis’ career path and put an end to his professional basketball career.