The Memphis Grizzlies were defeated by the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, but that’s hardly the worst of their troubles. Point guard Mike Conley suffered a lower back injury during the third quarter, after being struck by an inadvertent knee from Frank Kaminsky, and he claimed to experience a “paralyzing feeling,” before walking off the court.
It was bad enough that he skipped the team’s trip to Toronto so he could undergo tests. Now, reports are detailing the severity of the injury, and it’s not good.
Conley, of course, signed the biggest contract in NBA history this past offseason, as the Grizzlies decided that the 4th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft was well worth the price because of his talent and leadership. The signing drew criticism, and Conley understood and accepted his new burden, but no one could have seen this fluke accident and injury coming.
The Grizzlies are currently fifth in the Western Conference standings with a record of 11-7, but Conley’s absence will put a lot of pressure on the team’s bench. And while Conley may not have cared what fans or experts said about his massive contract, we can certainly bet that it’s going to be a hot button issue now more than ever.