March 24, 2011, the date David West will forever remember. With 22.3 seconds left before the end of regulation David, tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) against the Utah Jazz. It was a game tying dunk as he made a “pick and roll play” with Chris Paul and go straight to the basket. However, the one-handed power slam ended with a one-leg falling out awkwardly. The moment his left knee touches the ground with his whole weight on it, he knew it was over… the end of his season, the end of getting past the second round in the playoffs and might be the end of his magical career.
It happened in an inopportune time when the Hornets are making their playoff run with Chris Paul also playing with an injured knee. This is West’s contract year, hitting the open market in the off season. Now everything is put behind the mist of uncertainty.
There aren’t many players who had an ACL injury and came back 100 percent. It would take a lot of rehabilitating and a lot of patience in getting back to form.
Luckily, for David with the looming lockout season it would buy him enough time for his comeback.
West is still a valuable player any team would want. He has a variety of post moves and can shoot midrange jumpers. He sets good picks and has mid-level defense. He is the Hornets leading scorer and Carl Landry (West backup) will have to do more to cover up the hole being vacated. There aren’t many ACL injured players who came back successful but there are only a handful of players who is unselfish and still leads his team in scoring like David. And there are hardly any player who stands 7-foot tall and has a number of offensive moves and a shooting touch.
David West took this whole situation as a positive thing to his career. It’s likely because he couldn’t do anything about it, but also it’s because it has given him a new dimension, a new perspective to look for some ways to get effective when he comes back.
The New Orleans Hornets won that ball game against the Utah Jazz in overtime with Emeka Okafor hitting a miracle shot to force OT. David West witness two unlikely situations. One is his season ending injury and the other a miracle… Somehow everything will be okay we just have to believe miracles happen.
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