Each NBA team’s most devastating injury in franchise history

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /
1 of 30
Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics
Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Even if everything else goes right, nothing derails a team more than a devastating injury to a key player. These are the worst ones from each NBA team all-time.

Building a competitive, championship-caliber NBA team is extremely hard. Some executives and owners — like Gar Forman, John Paxson or even James Dolan — have the surprisingly not-so-unique ability to make an already difficult task even more arduous with mind-boggling trades, questionable coaching hires and constant misfires in free agency and in the draft.

Even if an organization does all of those things right, they too can fall victim to a dash of bad luck that can instantly change the fortunes of any franchise, particularly a major injury to a vital player.

Some teams can weather such a storm and maintain some levels of success. As for others, devastating injuries could lead to years — even decades — of turbulence.

More than any missed shot, bad pass or mental flub, injuries can hang over a team’s proverbial head because of all the questions that go along with the ailments. How bad is it? Why were they on the court for as long as they were? When will he come back? Will he be the same player? How far could his team have gone if he were healthy?

Those dreaded thoughts infiltrate and fester in the minds of fans, teammates, coaches, front office members and owners for months until the player returns. Even then, the answers they get to some of those questions may leave them and the player more dissatisfied.

At some point in each franchise’s history, all have dealt with an unforeseen ailment that drastically altered their season outlook. So let’s take a look at who these players were and how their injuries affected their teams.