The All-Time NBA All-Injury Team

NBA Injuries

After undergoing shoulder surgery, Kobe Bryant has been ruled out for the rest of the season once more. Bryant’s past few years have been dogged by health problems but he’s not the only player troubled by the issues, in fact he’s relatively lucky.

We’re here to take a look at the NBA ‘all injury’ team, a group of players who could have made a much bigger splash in the league if they’d stayed healthy…

Point Guard: Penny Hardaway

Penny Hardaway

6’7” tall and with a seemingly limitless supply of athleticism, Penny Hardaway had the potential to be the best Point Guard of all time. A master of getting to the basket and finding a way to score, Hardaway teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal at the Orlando Magic and was something special at the one spot.

However, in 1997 he came down with an ACL injury, which at the time went improperly diagnosed, and had a total of six knee surgeries throughout his career.

Whilst many will remember Hardaway as a legend, he could have been so much more if his knees stayed healthy…

Shooting Guard: Brandon Roy

Brandon Roy

Just one of many Portland Trailblazers to suffer career damaging injuries, Brandon Roy was drafted back in 2006 and was a terrifically gifted player.

This guy looked scary, offensively he could do everything; get to the rim, shoot the three and everything in between.

Unfortunately, degenerative knee issues crippled his career, in which he still managed to put up some phenomenal performances, most notably when Roy tore open the Mavericks in the fourth quarter of the 2011 playoffs.

Roy retired after announcing that he had no cartilage left in his knees following the 2011 lockout, but did attempt a comeback in 2012. This only lasted five games before subsequently going under the knife and retiring once more.

Small Forward: Tracy McGrady

T Mac

T-Mac had the ability to tear teams apart with his offensive talents and was once touted as a possible all-time scoring leader. During his time at Toronto and Orlando, many thought of McGrady as the best scorer in the league.

During his time with the Houston Rockets McGrady looked as if he may be taking the steps toward Playoff success, but injury derailed his hopes with back, ankle and knee issues taking their toll.

T-Mac’s most famous performance came against the San Antonio Spurs, where he scored an astonishing 13 points in the final 35 seconds of play to steal the win for Houston. If he’d stayed healthy, there’s no doubt that he’d be mentioned as one of the greatest scorers of recent memory.

Power Forward: Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson

Not many fans nowadays will really remember Larry Johnson, but during his opening few seasons he was looking like one of the best Power Forwards in the league. Averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game, Johnson was a nightmare to deal with until back injuries began to curtail his performances.

Johnson worked harder than most to adapt his game around his back issues, becoming more of a perimeter presence. After just 10 seasons in the league though, LJ retired after chronic back problems.

Many felt that if he’d stayed fit, he may have been in contention for a place in the Hall of Fame…

Centre: Yao Ming

Yao Ming

The Great Wall of China, Yao Ming sized up at 7’6” and had a feathery soft touch around the rim. Yao was the second key part of the Houston Rockets franchise along with Tracy McGrady.

Yao could have been one of the greatest all-time centres to play the league if he didn’t suffer from multiple foot and ankle injuries during his NBA career.

Unfortunately, despite some notable performances and several playoff appearances, Yao was forced to retire after suffering several setbacks with injury. Given a healthy career, Yao would have been a shoe in for HOF contention…

NBA Injuries Bench:

Gilbert Arenas:

Gilbert Arenas

A Point Guard who had a knack for scoring the deep ball at crucial times and pouring in points offensively, Agent Zero suffered an MCL injury in 2007 and never managed a full 82 game season after that.

If NBA injuries weren’t prolific in his game he could have been one of the best scoring point guards of his era…

Amar’e Stoudemire:

Still in the league with New York, Amar’e’s best seasons were as part of the Phoenix Suns, when he teamed up with Steve Nash.

He was an offensive powerhouse who could stretch his shot out to the three point line if needed as well as take the ball inside and finish. Knee injuries have caused the most issues for him, and robbed much of his athleticism.

Grant Hill:

Grant Hill

Another player who was touted as a possible challenger on the all-time scoring list, Grant Hill struggled with ankle injuries throughout his first four years, playing less than fifty games.

By the time he’d recovered from his NBA injuries he couldn’t quite regain the footing he showed beforehand.

He still played 18 seasons, but the majority of the time as a role player rather than the scorer many had seen in college.

Greg Oden:

Drafted ahead of Kevin Durant, Oden is another Portland based injury plagued player who suffered from knee issues.

He didn’t play in his first year due to knee surgery and soon sat out another season due to a fractured Patella in 2009.

He did manage a comeback, but has struggled to recapture the form which saw him build his draft stock from 2007.

Laphonso Ellis:

Laphonso Ellis

Not a well-known player, but one who could have been much more recognised if he’d stayed healthy.

Knee issues along with a hernia troubled Ellis throughout his career, but whilst he was fit he looked like a legit Power Forward.

One play which many won’t have seen from his time in the league is this ridiculous block…

Brad Daugherty:

Forced to retire at just 28 years of age due to back issues, Brad Daugherty was a one-time leader of points and rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

One of the most talented big men to have their health taken away, Daugherty still managed several All-Star appearances and is fondly remembered by the Ohio faithful.

Maurice Stokes:

Maurice Stokes

Arguably one of the most tragic NBA injuries ever, Maurice Stokes played back in the 1950s for the Cincinnati/Rochester Royals.

He suffered a head injury during a game, and several days later fell into a coma. His then teammate Jack Tywman became Stokes’ legal guardian, paying for his medical bills which his family couldn’t afford.

Now the Tywman-Stokes Award is given to the best NBA teammate in the league each year in honour of the unbelievable partnership.

NBA Injuries Possible Future Pick-ups:

Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Steve Nash…

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

1 Comment

  1. Brian

    February 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    No Jamal mashburn??

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