Team LeBron James is officially cursed


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Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingas suffered a season-ending injury Tuesday night against the Bucks, tearing his ACL after dunking over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The play happened with about 8:50 left in the second quarter. Porzingas cut through the lane, took a pass from center Kyle O’Quinn and dunked over Antetokounmpo. He came down the wrong way and tore the ACL in his left knee.

He was lying on the ground, pounding his fist on the floor in pain.

An MRI later confirmed that it was a torn ACL and he’s done for the season.

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“It sucks, man, it sucks,” Tim Hardaway Jr. said after the game. “I go back to always thinking about we had our groove at the beginning of the season and what if. ‘What if I didn’t have to go down? What if KP didn’t miss some games?’ It’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s reality. It’s bigger than basketball. Your body needs to be healthy and got to be ready for situations. It sucks that players are taking a blow right now.”

“It was kind of a rough play,” said Antetokounmpo. “I don’t think I pushed him there, I think he just landed not the way he wanted. I hope he’s OK, because he’s close friends with me.”

Before knowing the extent of the injury, former teammate Willy Hernangomez texted Porzingas, hoping for the best. “Ten days away, All-Star,” Hernangomez said. “You can’t believe how much he wanted to be there. We’re going to be positive.’’

There has been a ton of outpouring of prayers for Porzingas around the league.

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Porzingas, dubbed “the Unicorn” for his unique skill set, was set to play on Team LeBron in the All-Star game. Since James, the captain of one squad of All-Stars set to face off Feb. 18, drafted his team, four of his players have been injured.

First, the Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon, then the Wizards’ John Wall went out with a knee injury for 6-8 weeks, and finally his Cavs teammate Kevin Love went down for 6-8 weeks with a broken hand.

Can you say cursed?

The Clippers’ Lou Williams, the Pistons’ Blake Griffin, the Hornets’ Kemba Walker and the Sixers’ Ben Simmons are considered the favorites to replace Porzingis on Team LeBron. Already, the Thunder’s Paul George (for Cousins), the Heat’s Goran Dragic (for Love) and the Pistons’ Andre Drummond (for Wall) have been added to the team.

Porzingas had been having a breakout year with 22.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.

Players are typically out between seven and 12 months with the type of injury the 22-year-old Porzingas has, so he could miss games next season.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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