BOSTON — A relatively benign-looking collision turned scary on Friday when New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson was forced to leave the game against the Celtics with a cervical stinger.
Gerald Wallace collided with Anderson on an awkward-looking play in which Anderson’s left leg buckled, sending the six-year NBA veteran to the floor. Anderson lay prone for more than a minute without getting up, prompting a timeout by New Orleans and swift attention by the medical staff.
Wallace, whose “Crash” nickname was earned for years of hitting the deck hard, watched with concern from a few feet away.
“I’ve been there,” Wallace said. “I’ve been on the floor two or three times in my career. I know the feeling. I know what he’s going through, the thought process. I mean, I know the whole process of him laying on the floor, waiting on a stretcher to come get you. My whole thing was just, the activity to see him fall, see him moving. It’s the biggest precautionary reason, but like I said, I’ve been in that situation more than one time, so I just wanted to make sure that he was fine.”
Anderson moved his arms and legs and gave a thumbs-up to the TD Garden crowd as he was wheeled off on a stretcher.
The Pelicans did not provide further details on Anderson’s status after the game, but coach Monty Williams sympathized with the concern Anderson’s family had to be feeling, watching the whole thing play out from far away.
“We are just praying for his health,” Williams said. “He looked like he was OK. I was more worried about his mother. I know she’s at home a nervous wreck, so hopefully she hears this message and is cool with the fact that he’s OK and in good hands.”
See Anderson, telling everyone he’s all right by giving the thumbs-up, below.
Photo via AP/Charles Krupa