Milwaukee Bucks’ forward Jabari Parker tore his ACL last night and is out for the season (full story can be found here). Parker has now torn his ACL twice and is just 21 years old. Upon hearing the news I immediately thought — as I’m sure all Chicagoans did — of Derrick Rose and his multitude of knee injuries. And you know what? There are a few striking similarities between the two, which made me ask the question, are Chicago knees/ACLs weaker than other cities? Well, it’s hard to say. But let’s take a look, shall we?
The ever infamous, Derrick Rose is the logical place to begin when examining knee injuries. Rose was on top of the basketball world before the game took his knees away. He won multiple state championships for Simeon, lost a heartbreaker in the National Title game to Kansas in college, was the #1 pick to his hometown Chicago Bulls and won a league MVP. Then multiple knee injuries and the medical advisement of Dr. Reggie Rose led to Derrick’s current position, a member of the New York Knicks. Rose’s story has been harped on many times so I won’t go much further, but when it comes to Chicago knee injuries, he has to be considered patient zero.
Despite what my fellow LMBF blogger Chuck has to say, I consider Anthony Davis to be a Chicago basketball player. The Brow, after growing nearly a foot in between his junior and senior years of high school, was recruited by Coach Cal to play at Kentucky. As we all know, Davis had a monster season helping lead the Wildcats to a National Title and won MVP of the tournament. He then went on to be the #1 pick (coincidence?) to the now New Orleans Pelicans. Davis suffered his own knee injury (on top of a shoulder issue) which shut him down for a few months a few season ago.
The aforementioned Jabari Parker, former Simeon great and Duke Blue Devil, Parker went #2 overall in his draft class. As was said before this is his second knee injury, his first occurred in 2014. Obviously his second knee injury occurred just this season and he will again miss the remainder of this year and most of next season.
Curry, a graduate of Thornwood High School, was Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois before opting to skip college and head to the NBA. Curry was picked 4th overall by his hometown Chicago Bulls (hmm…) in 2001. In 2008, as a member of the New York Knicks, Curry suffered torn cartilage in his knee and missed time during the season.
As I’ve said many times, I’m not a conspiracy theory guy, but when I see puzzle pieces I put them together and boy do some of these fit in nicely. There are a few things that we can pull from what I found. First, Chicago is a hotbed for basketball talent. Second, there are a startling amount of knee injuries, specifically to Simeon graduates, #1 overall picks and guys who either didn’t go or only went to college for one year. There could be something in the water of Lake Michigan that makes Chicagoans prone to knee injuries, but until Derrick Rose’s 20th (just a guess) knee surgery, we may well never know.