It appears as if the dream life – sports talk radio host by day, surgeon by night and celebrity plastic surgery analyst by day yet again – still remains beyond our grasp.
Early Friday evening the Boston Celtics released a statement refuting a report that detailed guard Isaiah Thomas’ supposed broken jaw, an injury supposedly suffered during Game 1 of his team’s Eastern semifinal series against Washington.
The Celtics’ release:
Yes, today's excitement and Twitter buzz as it turns out, was truly a case of taking a bridge too far… pic.twitter.com/ULkEzLxWI8
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) May 5, 2017
The rumor initially spun from WEEI’s Glenn Ordway, who offered this on his Friday morning program:
“He fractured his jaw. That’s what happened,” Ordway said Friday on his radio show. “The elbow hit his jaw and then what ended up happening is that tooth had no support system off the bone and the complete tooth came out. It was fractured deep inside and it popped out and he had two others that apparently were displaced.
“This is not a cosmetic thing. This is not, ‘Oh, big deal. He looks like a hockey player. He’s lost three teeth and can go out there and look funny.’ No, he not only has pain, but he has a situation in which three teeth have been totally displaced. He has to concentrate on what he’s doing. Apparently they took him in and it was a fairly serious situation where they had to put him under and everything else.”
You don’t need to overstate Isaiah Thomas’ condition.
He’s been through enough, in the last two weeks since his sister Chyna’s passing, to force a person into reconsidering a career, much less something as skinflint as how to attack a mediocre Washington defense. We don’t need to elaborate in a story as astonishing as this.
A basketball-only return from three displaced teeth and hours upon hours of oral surgery is remarkable enough. To pour in 53 points in a desperate playoff win, without any additional time given to shake off the aftereffects of the extended pairing with a surgeon’s chair, is as legendary as these sorts of things get.
This story has already stretched out of the realm of the believable, there is no point in clouding Thomas’ tale with anecdotes that, while similarly believable, just are not true.
That’s how some sports media works, though, in our attempts to crown, celebrate, canonize, or dethrone. Glenn Ordway has probably seen scads of athletes work through similar injuries, athletes that also suffered a fractured jaw in the style of collision, and this might be where he (not looking to offend or upset, but to amplify) made the connection.
What we can be sure of is Isaiah Thomas’ jaw. It’s in place, it will require more care in the offseason and it is most definitely in great pain at the current moment as we head into Game 3, but it is not fractured.
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