For a brief moment (or two), it looked as if disaster had already struck the Charlotte Bobcats before the 2013-14 regular season even began.
Al Jefferson crashes hard to the court with apparent right foot/ankle injury at 5:41 of 3rd qtr. Carried by teammates into locker room.
— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) October 12, 2013
Newly acquired big man Al Jefferson had to be helped to the locker room after what looked to be a terrible ankle injury. This certainly gave the entire Bobcats fan base (insert joke here) a collective gasp, and until the end of the game, there would be no real update on Jefferson’s status.
However, there was relatively good news to come.
Per Bobcats, Al Jefferson has a sprained right ankle. Will be reevaluated tomorrow.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) October 12, 2013
Jefferson was given a massive 3-year, $41 million contract in the offseason in what was considered to be a blatant attempt by Charlotte to improve in the short term. “Big Al” is one of the best offensive centers in the entire NBA, and for a team that was devoid of a “go to” option, it seemed like a reasonable move. Of course, there is a flip side, as many believe that Jefferson is overpaid at this number (I’d agree) and that his defense (below average at best) offsets any positive he may bring.
I’m somewhere in the middle on Jefferson at this stage in his career, but one thing is for certain, and that is that Charlotte is unquestionably a more competitive basketball team when he’s healthy.