If you've ever taken a "guy trip" to Vegas, or Mardi Gras, or wherever, you probably know about that nervous feeling you get at the end of the month when you're waiting for your credit card statement to arrive. Sure, you could check your balance online or over the phone, but you don't. You wait for the paper copy instead. And when it arrives, you just sort of leave it sitting on the counter for a few days. You don't want to open it, but you know you'll eventually have to. Thinking back, you realize you don't remember anything after the first hour at that strip club, and even though you don't believe in a higher power you start praying you didn't overspend on lap dances with the girl who looked like Gwen Stefani on a cocaine bender. Finally, you open it, and the paradoxically amazing happens: your blood goes cold and you start sweating profusely at the same time. What can't be...is. You're going to be paying for that trip for a long, long time.

Well, that's exactly how I feel about checking up on the Pacers. It just always seems to be bad news, especially now, in the waning shadow of the Ron Artest Era and its messy aftermath. Brawls, suspensions, injuries, trade demands, more injuries, so on and so forth. It's like the Pacers have become a living, breathing cautionary tale (as the Maloof brothers are probably going to find out some day).

Anway, today I broke my self-imposed Pacers media blackout only to see a headline stating
Daniels' status uncertain. It figures. I was actually really excited about the youth and potential Daniels was supposed to bring to the Pacers. And now his status is uncertain?! Damn. Then I actually read the article. You know what the problem is? An ingrown toenail.

Daniels is dealing with occasional problems following a procedure to remove a toenail on his left big toe. "Doctors decided to remove the toenail permanently," [Pacers coach Rick] Carlisle said. "It's a healing process that's taken time." Daniels, acquired for Austin Croshere from Dallas in July, has participated in offseason workouts but has been limited.
How do you suppose Pacers GM Larry Bird feels about this? Bird had a history of (stupidly) playing with injuries that were so physically debilitating that he actually had to spend time in traction between playoff games in 1991. And let's not forget Bird played alongside Kevin McHale when McHale limped through the 1987 Playoffs with a broken foot. (According to Peter May's book The Big Three, McHale's navicular bone "split like a piece of firewood" during that classic Celtics/Pistons series. And yet McHale somehow managed to average 21.1 points -- on 58 percent shooting -- and 9.2 rebounds during the playoffs. That, my friends, is tough.)

What's going on with players today? Guys are "exhausted" after a season of hoops and need to take the whole summer off (to get fat). An arthritic toe will keep someone out for six weeks. Hell,
they can't even handle their own balls. I don't get it. Not to keep bringing up Larry Bird, but according to The Big Three (again), Bird had his zygomatic arch (the cheekbone) broken in a game during the 1987-88 season. Amazingly, he finished the game, but when he blew his nose in the shower his eye popped right out of the goddamn socket. I know you'll join me in saying "Holy Jesus knife-throwing ninja Christ!!" He didn't miss a single game, either; he just wore a pair of goggles for five games before discarding them because he didn't want to "baby" himself.

And now a bum toenail is sidelining a player he traded for over the summer. This coming in the wake of a one-round playoff run in which another player he traded for (Peja Stojakovic) wimped out of playing because he had a mild ankle sprain. I bet Bird felt like bitch-slapping him.

Voyeuristic Extra: For your viewing displeasure, here's a picture of Marquis Daniels' tattoos. Based on everything I've heard, getting a tattoo is a painful process. Getting multiple tattoos therefore would be more painfuler, and getting lots of big tattoos all over your body would be the most painfulest. That said, why the hell is a bad toenail (that's been removed, mind you) keeping this guy out of action??!


Marquis Daniels
Nice tattoos. Pussy.

Editor's Note: Look, I'm not trying to be insensitive here. I actually have some experience with toenail problems. I run half marathons, and I play pickup basketball, and tackle football in the fall. My feet take some punishment. In point of fact, I've lost the nails on my big toes a combined seven times. It hurts like hell, and you have to keep them wrapped for a while, but I've survived. And you know what? I kept running, playing basketball, and playing football. A few years ago, while playing football, I got my ring finger caught in somebody's waistband and it broke in three places and tore a ligament. I put a splint on the finger, kept playing until December, and then had some occupational therapy done. And while I don't consider myself a badass in any way, I can say with some confidence that I'm apparently tougher than many professional basketball players. I don't know how that's even possible.
5 Comments:
Anonymous Jack said...
There are still some tough guys left...Allen Iverson with his multiple injuries, Steve Nash playing through his back problems...Brett Favre played most of a season with a BROKEN THUMB a couple years ago. Ingrown tonail? Come on.

Look at Yao, missing several games with a hurt toe. Poor wikkle baby. Pau, going to be out for FOUR MONTHS with a little broken bone in his foot. Pussies.

Anonymous Nick said...
Well said!

Thanks for the Bird McHale info, i never knew that.

And that "exhaustion" comment is so true... need a summer off? Gimme a fuckin break!

~Nick~ Australia.

Anonymous Doug said...
An ingrown toenail sucks. I've had them removed a few times, and it's tough to run on it just after the procedure. The wound is still healing, and it bleeds pretty profusely if you start running. You definitely want that wound to close. Is it possible to play on it? Yes. But it's training camp, not April. Don't worry about it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
ingrown toenails ARE tough, and very prone to infecting, i also dealt with them...you don't want them infected, believe me, and it's just training camp. also, there IS a reason why bird is nicknamed "larry legend" and is considered by many no 2 g.o.a.t. so it's pretty unfair to compare marquis daniel to him...even in "toughness"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I've got a little more sympathy here since I had the same surgery done. I had lost that toenail a couple of times and kept getting it ingrown before my doc finally recommended just getting it removed. Let me tell you, losing it is nothing like having it permanently removed so it won't grow back. They have to cut way down and remove the whole root. It's definately not something you're going to be running and jumping on. I've played half a football season with a cracked patella and finished the baseball season catching with a broken middle finger on my glove hand and neither was as bad as that stupid toenail removal.

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