The IX: Basketball Wednesday with Howard Megdal, September 15, 2021
When word came on Tuesday that Alyssa Thomas was all-systems-go for the Connecticut Sun, amid a season when they have succeeded without her (top seed, not bad!) and well ahead of schedule for her injury, I was reminded of this famous moment in sporting history.
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The truth is, though, the Black Knight is not a great comp for Thomas, since by any measure but his, he lost this battle, and not only does AT continue on, she has played at a high level throughout her injury-managed career.
I still remember when the elite PR person for the Connecticut Sun, Annette Hogan-Auchmoody, told us that Thomas was tired of talking about playing through her injured shoulders. And it is understandable — it’s something that came up in every profile, and she’d proven she could do it. What’s the next challenge?
But should she return and resume her unique game — seriously, no one distributes and rebounds in the cohesive way she does, leading to transition opportunities and second shots in abundance — she should expect to hear about it, since she’s playing with two still-injured shoulders and on an achilles that was torn nine months ago. Nine months ago!
In case the New York Liberty’s week wasn’t already looking dramatic, with a playoff-implicated showdown Friday against the franchise’s former signature star, it just got even more fascinating.