During USA Basketball‘s 96-68 evisceration of Lithuania in the FIBA World Cup semifinal game on Thursday, Rudy Gay wasn’t as excited about moving on to Sunday’s gold medal game as some of his teammates. That’s because he got socked in mouth during a drive mid-way through the third quarter, fracturing his jaw and probably requiring a root canal. Gay said afterwards it was a “dirty play.”
In the handshake line after the game, Gay reminded the Lithuanian team he wasn’t happy about the hard foul on his drive to the hoop. Gay’s animus, not to mention a hyped up DeMarcus Cousins who almost decked Jonas Valanciunas after an elbow to the throat during the game, led to the shoving match coach Mike Krzyzewski got embroiled in after the game.
“I’ve got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to probably need a root canal,” Gay told Sam Amick of USA Today. “The top is where I got hit. It’s painful. It’s uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I’ve got to continuously gargle. It is what it is, man.”
Here’s some grainy footage of the elbow Gay took to the jaw:
“I think (the elbow) had a little bit to do with (the situation afterward),” Gay continued. “It was a dirty play, man. It was a dirty play.”
Gay will still be available to play in tomorrow’s gold medal game against Serbia despite the injury but he’ll likely need some dental attention when he gets back to the States, including a pretty painful root canal. But, a second gold medal — Gay was on the gold medal-winning 2010 world championship team — could help dull the pain if the USA can get by a surprising Serbian team tomorrow in the championship game.
Was it a dirty play?
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