The majority of fans probably never heard of the player B.J. Tyler and how could you, when you take into account his short stint in the NBA in the mid-’90s. However, what you might not know is the reason behind his brief tenure in the league is a somewhat bizarre injury that took place in his rookie season that should be characterized as one of the strangest in NBA history.
B.J.Tyler was a great college player for DePaul University and later for the University of Texas, where he made his presence felt and made a name for himself as one of the best guards in NCAA. In his last season at Texas, he averaged almost 23 points a game while establishing himself as one of the fastest and exciting point guards with a few NBA teams willing to draft him.
It was the Philadelphia Sixers who decided to give him a shot, and they drafted him as the 20th overall pick in the first round. Tyler was given the minutes as a backup point guard for the squad, and he played in 55 games in his first NBA season averaging 3.5 points and 3.2 assists per game. Following the second season, he was selected by the Toronto Raptors in the expansion draft since they wanted to have a reliable replacement for Damon Stoudemire, their best player at that time.
According to journalist Chris Young, he wrote in his book Drive, Tyler accidentally fell asleep with a pack of ice on his ankle. That has led to severe nerve damage, which resulted in him losing his quickness and affecting his young NBA career. Unfortunately for the Raptors, they signed him to a $6 million deal for the next five years, but the consequences of his injury were so severe he was forced to retire.
Therefore, the young point guard was left without an NBA contract and out of the league. Even though Tyler showcased, he can play for almost any team in the league, at least as a backup guard, he was never signed by a team in the NBA. There is little information out there on what happened with his life after he retired from the league.
There were numerous bizarre and strange injuries in the NBA, but this one might be on the top of the list because of the consequences it had for Tyler, who had to cut his career way too early. It’s also mind-boggling that leaving an ice pack on the ankles had that type of damage to his nerves and how nobody was able to help him out to save his career potentially.