David Padgett Plugs Away In NBA Summer League

David Padgett refused to quit when he was playing basketball at the University of Louisville, even when he was diagnosed with a serious knee injury in the first game of his senior season. This coming on top of surgical procedures for injuries that had plagued him in previous years.

After consulting with physicians, coach Rick Pitino believed the most recent injury to be beyond serious, telling fans the injury constituted a fatal blow to Padgett’s basketball career.

“I remember the play to this day. I probably will forever. At the time I didn’t think it was that bad,” Padgett told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “When Coach (Rick) Pitino initially told me I’d fractured my kneecap and was probably done for the season, it was like a truck had run over me. It caught me so off guard. That was a pretty devastating blow because it was my last year.”

Padgett not only recovered from the injury but went on to become the anchor of a Louisville Cardinals’ team that went 27-9 and to the Elite Eight. He was the point center, the creator, the player who made the offense work.

He never made it to the NBA last year, getting cut by the Miami Heat just before training camp ended. After a year in Europe, he’s back competing for a spot on the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA Summer League. He averaged 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in about eight minutes of play in three summer league games.

Wouldn’t surprise many Padgett fans if he wound up making it.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

3 thoughts on “David Padgett Plugs Away In NBA Summer League

  • July 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm
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    From this Portland Trailblazer fan, I just want to say that we’ve been impressed with David as well. I don’t have any idea whether or not he’ll make the team, but he has all of the intangible traits that NBA teams are looking for. He’s surprised a bunch of us up here, and if he isn’t on the final roster, it will simply be due to a lack of spots at the forward and center positions.

    • July 19, 2009 at 8:24 pm
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      Don, I hope you get him for Portland’s sake. He will contribute on and off the court.

  • July 20, 2009 at 6:13 am
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    Good luck, David. You were skill, class, grace and hard work all rolled up into a 6’11” package that wouldn’t give in to the aches and pains or injuries. With Greg Oden and Paul Millsap signing, they may be looking to go inexpensive as a backup. I hope it’s you David.

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