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Arment Dietrich

Bulls call out one of their own

By: Arment Dietrich | March 10, 2009 | 
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It’s not uncommon for professional sports teams to release media alerts or news releases for injury reports. Journalists, sportscasters and other media professionals depend on injury updates for tomorrow’s news. But last week, the Chicago Bulls media team took their injury release a step further.

Luol Deng, forward for the Chicago Bulls, is criticized on a long list of things; his 71 million dollar contract, soft play, lack of production, and recently his excuses for not playing with a potential stress fracture to his right leg. So what did the Bulls do? They called out Deng in their own news release last Wednesday night:

“All of the information to date points to some mild inflammation along his tibia, with a small irregularity within the cortical bone, with no obvious break in the inner or outer layer of bone.

“He has been restricted from high-level activity since Saturday. At this point, he will undergo “active rest,” meaning that he will be encouraged to challenge himself physically, and if symptoms remain minimal, he will be allowed an expeditious return to play.”

Encourage to challenge himself physically? Last time I checked, you can’t get a stress fracture in your heart. Anyone who plays for the University of Duke under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski has passion, they are demanded to. Trust me, I can’t stand Duke Basketball, but I respect it.
 
After reading the release, it sounds to me the Chicago Bulls are spinning their own player’s health concerns into a boo-boo and solving it with a band-aid. How does the Chicago Bulls management, training staff, or whoever else know Deng’s injury is not career threatening? Deng did the right thing; he went and got additional takes from different doctors, which, reveled inflammation leading toward a stress fracture.

Stress fractures suck and can only get better with rest. Isn’t that what Deng is trying to tell people, who oddly enough (besides Pax and Vinny) never played the amount of games Deng has, night after night pounding his legs and knees on the hardwood. Anyone who plays sports knows when one thing goes wrong; you favor other muscles leading to extra stress on muscles that are not used to it.

I’m not trying to make excuses for Deng, nor am I an NBA star, but come on; organizations should never call out their own player in the media. Would you want to play for a team that doesn’t respect you and spins the media and fans that you’re a giant pansy?

Keep it behind closed doors.

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