Just the worst luck
It’s always disappointing to have your Olympic journey end, but it must have been especially frustrating for Australia’s Aron Baynes.
Baynes, who also plays for the Raptors, will miss the rest of the Olympic men’s basketball tournament after sustaining a neck injury in what team doctor David Hughes called “a complicated series of events.” It’s the sort of bizarre injury you usually see only in baseball.
“He did suffer an injury during the match on the court, and then he had a slip in the bathroom and suffered further injury,” Hughes told reporters. “It became apparent to the medical staff that this was a bit more serious than just an average injury.”
Baynes had been a key player for Australia in its first two games. He started both and had 17 points and seven rebounds in just 14 minutes against Italy before he was injured. He is one of six NBA players on the Boomers’ roster and the only big man on the team who plays in the world’s top league.
The bathroom slip may very well have marked the end of Baynes’s Olympic career, since he’ll be 37 for the 2024 Games in Paris; it also puts a big dent in the Aussies’ hopes for their first Olympic medal. They’re currently ranked third in the world by FIBA and lost in the bronze medal match of the last two major tournaments they’ve played (the 2016 Olympics and 2019 World Cup).
“I am really disappointed that I can’t continue in the Olympics,” Baynes said in a statement. “I, along with the rest of the team, have been working so hard in our quest for an historic Olympic medal and I am gutted that I can’t complete the journey with the boys, but I have every confidence that they will get the job done.”
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