In the history of basketball, there have been many serious injuries affecting basketball players. We have compiled basketball players who have come back from serious injuries and who had great stories of success.

From Downfall to Comeback: stories of basketball players who came back from serious injuries

Basketball players are afraid of injuries because it can mean the end of their career or a change of direction from the top level. We have searched the archives and for this week’s Grosbasket blog we have selected 3 players who have returned from serious injuries.

Throughout the history of basketball, there have been many players who, due to injuries, never played at the level they were at before they got injured. Examples include Brandon Roy, Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway, who you can read more about in our blog: Basketball players whose injuries stole their careers. This time, we wanted to feature basketball players who, despite serious injuries, have returned to an extremely high level.

1. Paul George, from broken leg to MVP candidate

In 2011, the Indiana Pacers selected Paul George as the 10th overall pick, and he has grown rapidly as a basketball player and star. In 2012-13 and 2013-14, the Pacers reached the Eastern Conference Finals with George, who had already won the MIP (Most Improved Player) award and was a two-time All-Star and a member of the league’s defensive five, and lost both times to Miami with LeBron, Wade and Bosh at the helm. After the end of a 2013-14 season in which PG-13 averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals, came one of the most devastating events in recent basketball history. During a USA Basketball preseason game, Paul George fractured his fibula and tibia in his right leg in a bad landing.

Despite a terrible injury, he returned at the end of the following season, playing 14 minutes in six games. Indiana missed the playoffs for the first time since his arrival. The following season, he played 81 games and averaged 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals. He was again an All-Star and one of the best two-way basketball players in the league. After moving to the Oklahoma City Thunder, he averaged 28.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals in the 2018-19 season. He was ranked third on the league’s MVP and DPOY award leaderboards. Although he has been plagued by injuries over the past four seasons, Paul George is one of the main proofs that basketball players can bounce back from the worst of injuries.

2. Kevin Durant, velikan, ki je ostal strah in trepet

One of the most talented basketball players history has ever seen. After winning two titles with the Golden State Warriors in 2016-17 and 2017-18, he was on the verge of a third in the 2019 playoffs. Injuries forced him to rest, but Kevin Durant didn’t give up. He played in the finals against Toronto, where he tore his Achilles tendon in Game 5. It cost him 552 days without playing basketball. His height and age put his game in question, as proved by the fact that the New York Knicks refused to offer him a so-called max contract precisely because of the injury.

He signed with Brooklyn and we like to say that he was just a fingertip away from the NBA Finals. In the years following his injury, he averaged 29 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 0.8 steals in the regular season, leading the team to a 50-40-90 season (if you take Brooklyn’s season averages). The fact that he only averages 46 games per season due to injuries doesn’t negate the fact that KD has returned to the same, if not a higher level of basketball.

3. Kobe Bryant, whose career continued

Many wouldn’t put the popular Kobe on this list, but we did. Why? Because he is Kobe Bryant, and as such, a true example of saying never give up. He’s provided some incredible moments in this millennium and to many, he’s the best basketball player of all time. 5X NBA champion, 2x Finals MVP, 1x league MVP and on and on. By the 2013-14 season, he was averaging 73 games per season, his 17th season in the league, and he was 34 years old. That’s when the knee and Achilles tendon injuries started, after which no one would have resented his retirement. But that was Kobe Bryant. He played just 6 games that season, then played 101 more games in his final two seasons, averaging 19.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.1 steals in less than half an hour of play. And for the icing on the cake, let’s remember the last game of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers60 points for Kobe Bryant’s last game!

Basketball has given us some inspiring stories of basketball players returning from serious injuries. Who would you put on this list, let us know?