Skip to content

Alex Len harbors no resentment toward Maryland for handling of injury

Jun 27, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

NBA Draft basketball

NEW YORK – It’s reached the point where I expect so little from major college athletic programs that I hardly raised an eyebrow when Alex Len told Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons he played through the stress fracture in his ankle last season and didn’t have an MRI done until after Maryland’s last game.

But Kudos to Nate Timmons of Denver Stiffs for not dropping the issue. Using that video and a USA Today article that confirms Len’s injury wasn’t diagnosed until after the season, Timmons raised the question of whether Maryland acted appropriately.

It’s an important discussion, especially given the claims by the NCAA that its duty is to protect its athletes. Maryland had economic incentive to exploit Len (even more than they already did). He was a top player, and he could help the Terrapins win games and generate fan support. Who cares whether he suffers long-term damage? He was gone after this year, anyway, and wouldn’t be their problem.

Of course, we hope Maryland would act more scrupulously than that, but there should be more safeguards in place – namely a system that gives less power to coaches and administrators and more power to players than current setup does. Players like Len should have greater control of their own medical treatment.

However, while the issue is legitimate and important, Len does not make a good poster child for it. He very clearly said he has no problem with how Maryland handled his injury.

“A stress fracture is hard to discover sometimes,” Len said. “Because we did x-rays when it started hurting, but the doctor didn’t see anything. Sometimes, you can’t see anything. It just shows up after two months.”

Len  came stateside from Ukraine two years ago to decide on a school. But because it was already August, he had just two weeks and looked at only Maryland and Virginia Tech.

Obviously on little information, he picked Maryland, and obviously, it’s worked well.

Even his injury has provided at least one benefit. Len said an x-ray revealed his growth plate is still open and he might grown another inch.

The basketball wasn’t always pretty in College Park, but it proved useful for Len, who grew up – after his famed and short-lived gymnastics career ended – playing international-style basketball.

“Coach Turgeon did a tremendous job helping a lot,” Len said. “He kind of guided me, what I needed to do, because when I came from Europe, I wanted to play outside. He explained to me, on the block, that’s where I’m going to play throughout my career.”

It’s fantastic that Len appreciated his Maryland experience. It’s important these schools are held accountable, so the next athlete feels the same way.

Latest Posts
  1. Lance Stephenson shows he’s on fire, ready for Charlotte (Instagram)

    Jul 28, 2014, 2:04 AM EDT

    Lance letting us know where his loyalties lie.

  2. Zach LaVine throws down some crazy dunks at Seattle Pro-Am (VIDEO)

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Draft Getty Images

    The 2015 Slam Dunk Contest champion might have already been decided.

  3. Paul Millsap receives last minute invite to USA Basketball mini-camp

    Jul 27, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Six Getty Images

    Millsap gets the call as a late addition after Blake Griffin and Kevin Love dropped out in the last few days.

  4. Report: Kevin Garnett eyes post-basketball position with Nets

    Jul 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Newly acquired Brooklyn Net's NBA player Kevin Garnett listens during a news conference introducing him in Brooklyn Reuters

    KG is likely coming back for his 20th NBA season, but may be setting himself up for something more with the Nets one his playing days are finished.

  5. LeBron announces he’ll wear No. 23 with Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    LeBron James LeBron James

    LeBron makes yet another momentous decision.

  6. Report: Lakers won’t use stretch provision on Steve Nash

    Jul 27, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    L.A. will keep Nash on the roster for the upcoming season, and take the cap hit for the $9.7 million remaining on his contract all at once.

  7. Rumor: NBA to open 2014-15 season with Spurs at Cavaliers

    Jul 27, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs Cleveland Cavaliers v San Antonio Spurs

    Only other possibility would have been LeBron facing the Heat, but that feels more like Christmas.

  8. Report: Lakers say ‘no done deal’ with Byron Scott

    Jul 27, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Byron Scott

    Team downplays ESPN report that a contract has been agreed upon.

  9. Donatas Motiejunas doesn’t think Rockets should have paid Chandler Parsons James Harden money

    Jul 27, 2014, 9:29 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Would Harden have been offended if he and Parsons made similar money?

  10. Report: Lakers, Byron Scott agree to four-year, $17 million deal to coach team

    Jul 26, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers  v Miami Heat Getty Images

    The negotiations was over years and the fourth year is a team option.

  11. Report: Several teams interested in free agent Michael Beasley

    Jul 26, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - 2014 NBA Finals Game Three

    Beasley is an unrestricted free agent, and some team will almost certainly take a chance on him next season.

  12. Kevin Love trade talk: He doesn’t want to opt in to deal, Cavs may live with that

    Jul 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Kevin Love Kevin Love

    If Kevin Love will not opt-in to the last year of his deal, would you still give up Wiggins for him?

  13. Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah swats away children’s shots (VIDEO)

    Jul 26, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Joakim Noah Joakim Noah

    Nobody scores on Joakim Noah, 7-year-old youth included.

  14. Paul George says his favorite rookie memory was when his coach got fired

    Jul 26, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Paul George Paul George

    Being inserted into the starting lineup might have something to do with it.

  15. Kevin Love leaving Team USA not helpful, certainly not devastating either

    Jul 26, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    US forward Kevin Durant and US forward K Getty Images

    Kevin Durant is the perfect international power forward anyway.

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. T. Warren (4367)
  2. L. James (4168)
  3. K. Love (4120)
  4. J. Nelson (3594)
  5. R. Allen (3387)
  1. C. Anthony (2922)
  2. K. Bryant (2614)
  3. D. Rose (2565)
  4. A. Wiggins (2542)
  5. A. Aminu (2052)