Breaking your nose is quite the unpleasant experience. Miami Heat star and reigning NBA MVP LeBron James can testify to that after he suffered a broken nose almost two weeks ago in a contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the three games since that time, James has worn a protective mask to help shield that broken and reset nose.
However, the protective mask didn’t matter much late in the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. With under a minute to play, James Harden threw an ill-advised pass way too high and way too far down the floor, causing Dwight Howard and LeBron to go up and try to get a hand on the 50-50 ball. In that scrum to try and get the poor pass, though, Howard inadvertently threw an elbow into the face of James.
LeBron stayed on the ground for quite a while before a timeout was called. He was clearly shaken up by the play, but returned to the game. It turns out that he returned to the game after re-breaking his nose, according to a report from Joe Goodman of the Miami Herald. That’s a pretty gutty effort by the MVP, even if he couldn’t knock down the potential game-winner.
When LeBron first suffered the injury, there were many people—particularly on social media—that mocked and ridiculed James for a perceived lack of toughness as he left the floor and didn’t return to the game. That was a pretty ludicrous claim then, when the Heat didn’t need James as they were playing with a big lead, and it’s even more ridiculous now after seeing just how tough that he can be. As always seems to be the case, it was all LeBron being held to an unfair standard by some people and not anything to hang your hat on.