Injuries and subsequent absences are part and parcel of being an NBA player. Stuff happens. Bodies collide. Ankles twist. Knees buckle. Joints freeze. Bones break. If you’re lucky, you avoid it. If you’re semi-lucky, you suffer only the occasional injury. If you’re just plain unlucky in volume, you wind up on this list. Previous players have had their careers destroyed by injuries such as Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, but there are some current NBA players who could have been great but were struck by injuries. Here are the 10 most injury prone players.
10. Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin has played 11 seasons in the NBA and a total of 659 games. On average he plays 59 games per season which is about 2/3 of the NBA season. Even though there have been years where he was completely injury-free, there have been some years with serious injuries that resulted in him playing less than 30 games.
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9. Nene Hilario
The Brazilian forward has been in the league for quite some time now and has had a number of very productive seasons in both Denver and Washington. Nene doesn’t have many small injuries that keep him off court for a week. He has had many season ending injuries though and as the years go by, these get more frequent.
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8. Jrue Holiday
Even though his career started without many injuries that kept him away from playing basketball, when he joined New Orleans he couldn’t seem to be able to stay healthy for a long time. During these past two years, he has played a total of 74 games whereas other point guards have played twice that number.
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7. Dwyane Wade
Wade is considered as one of the best veterans now and as many know, old players tend to get injured a lot. But if you look at Wade’s age you will see that he is just 32. At that age players like Jordan and Kobe had injury free seasons and Wade struggles to play even half of it. In the last 4 years, he has played just 234 games, which is far less than the games played by his older enemies Nowitzki and Duncan.
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6. Nikola Pekovic
The big man from Montenegro has not played a full season in his career so far because he has suffered a lot of injuries. The most games he has played in a season is in the 2010-2011 season where he played 65 games. Additionally, in the previous season, he was one of the many injuries the Wolves had and played just 31 games.
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5. Kyrie Irving
One of the players that were injured in last year’s championship run by Cleveland. Kyrie has been devastated by injuries since his days in Duke, something that has carried on in his NBA years. He got injured in June and will likely play after the New Year. Irving was ruled out for the rest of the NBA Finals the following day with a fractured left kneecap that required surgery.
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4. Danny Granger
Perhaps the definition of a career destroyed by injuries. In his early days, Granger would put up 25 points per game for numerous seasons. He was one of the best small forwards in the league, but then, injuries ruined his body, making him unable to perform at a regular level. Granger has played just 74 games during the last 3 years in the NBA with the Pacers, the Clippers and the Heat.
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3. Amar’e Stoudemire
Stoudemire was a beast in his Phoenix days, as the combination of him, Nash, Shaq and Marion could bring home the title. During those years he was lucky enough to have only one year with very little games, but then in New York he struggled to get his body right. In the last 4 years he has played just 200 games and looks to have a fresh start now in Miami.
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2. Derrick Rose
Perhaps I was wrong with Granger. This is the definition of a career destroyed by injuries. The league’s MVP and Chicago’s only hope to experience the Finals in the 21st century was destroyed by injuries. Derrick Rose has played just 100 games in the last 3 years in the league and is now a player you just can’t count on.
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1. Greg Oden
A big fail in the 2007 NBA Draft as he was the first overall pick before Kevin Durant. His career was destroyed so much that he has played just 3 seasons in the NBA, Having played just 105 NBA games, teams are afraid to acquire him as it would be a waste of money.