Orlando Magic

Jameer Nelson Would Be Foolish To Play

DENVER - JANUARY 17:  Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball upcourt against the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on January 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Magic defeated the Nuggets 106-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Clayton CoffmanAnalyst IJune 2, 2009

Jameer Nelson, read these words: Do not play. A story on SI.com reported that Magic players believed Nelson would participate in the Finals. The series begins this Thursday with Orlando traveling out west. Why would you risk further injury, even if you had been sidelined for more than three months? A torn labrum, which Nelson suffered this season, directly affects his shooting. He's a right-handed player, and I highly doubt he was practicing left-handed during the time off. Also, you'd have to bet that if Nelson returned, he'd mess up the chemistry that the Magic have right now. Rafer Alston had done more than enough to make the Magic's opponents respect their inside-outside game. We've seen too many athletes try to come back after major surgeries, only to exacerbate the same injury site. Don't risk your career for one series when you have your whole career ahead of you.

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