Isn’t NFL football enough injury risk for Cleveland’s superstar defender?
Cleveland Browns superstar Myles Garrett has a highly entertaining video displaying some serious roundball skills, which is going viral. Garrett, who hails from Arlington, Texas, gives a shout-out to Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban offering to play guard for his team. (On a side note, we don’t think he is serious).
The whole video is very well done, and it is a blast for all his fans.
However Dee and Jimmy Haslam and Andrew Berry have $125 million invested in the remarkable young superstar, and they may view his basketball hobby a little differently. There’s a lot of debate this offseason about how good Baker Mayfield is, but there is no doubt, none whatsoever, that the true franchise player of the Cleveland Browns defense is Myles Lorenz Garrett, No. 95.
Garrett has had ankle issues in the past, and there he is, making sharp cuts in low-top basketball shoes, and 275-pounds of muscle coming down hard after making monster dunks. The last thing the Browns want to hear about is an ACL injury incurred on something that is not part of his off-season training program.
Things like that happen. Remember, Kellen Winslow was popping perfectly safe wheelies on his motorcycle and tore up his knee back in 2005. Those foolish Browns didn’t seem to mind much, however.
However, a few years ago, Patrick Mahomes had a similar video showing him putting on some moves in a basketball pickup game. The Kansas City Chiefs’ front office absolutely freaked out. In Mahomes’ case, he had language in his contract preventing him from engaging in dangerous activities.
He wound up re-affirming not to play basketball while under contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. For upwards of $500 million dollars, you better believe they are anxious to protect their investment. The same situation may apply to Myles Garrett. This guy is not just another football player. He’s one of the top defensive players in the NFL, and he’s worth more than a Boeing business jet.
Basketball may seem relatively harmless, but the experts (not this author, of course) seem to say otherwise.
In a medical tome entitled Basketball Sports Medicine and Science (Springer, Berlin Heidelberg), there’s an entire chapter on Achilles Tendon Ruptures, in which the authors claim:
"“In the United States, sporting activity was responsible for 68% tendon ruptures, of which basketball was the most commonly involved sport, accounting for 48% of sports-related ruptures.”"
You may also remember third baseman Aaron Boone (or Aaron Bleeping Boone, as he was known to Red Sox fans for knocking them out of the playoffs with a walk-off home run) tore his ACL playing basketball, which was banned by his contract. The Yankees let him slide because of their gratitude for killing the Red Sox, but they were entitled to take his money away.
On the other hand, you could build a case that football players need a more aggressive form of training besides lifting weights and running track. There are videos of Tom Brady jumping off cliffs, some with his kids — which has earned him great criticism but apparently not a loss of income — and playing some pickup with Michael Jordan. Yikes.
Garrett’s video is highly choreographed, and the impression is that Garrett was actually playing pickup basketball, but maybe not. It might be that the other players were actually his friends and cooperative rather than competitive. In that case, Andrew Berry might not need resuscitation after all, and the electroshock electrodes can be put away. Just be careful, big guy.
The takeaway is that, no, it’s not cool if Myles Garrett is playing competitive basketball even in a pickup game. Probably Garrett’s video is not actually from a true pickup game, and the other athletes in the video may have cooperated with the choreography rather than trying to compete against the Browns’ $125 million dollar man.
That makes it fall into a more gray category as to whether the basketball cuts and power dunks constitute an injury risk that should be avoided. It’s probably worth a phone call between Andrew Berry and Garrett’s highly respected agent, Bus Cook, to make sure that there are no misunderstandings. They will work it out.
So enjoy the video, it is awesome, but do not be surprised if the sequel is postponed until after Garrett’s football career is over.