Today, most NBA fans never heard of a former NBA player Lionel Simmons, and why shouldn’t you if you weren’t a Sacramento Kings fan in the ’90s. His career was somewhat unusual, even though he had moments when he looked like he could be a consistent NBA All-Star. Interestingly enough, his best season came in his rookie year when he averaged 18 points per game for the Kings and was named the All-Rookie Team. He was a versatile forward that could rebound really well, and the future seemed bright.
However, in his rookie season back in 1991, Simmons had one of the most bizarre injuries in NBA history. The Nintendo Game Boy was one of the most popular gaming consoles at that time, and Simmons was playing whenever he could if he wasn’t practicing. It got so bad he developed tendinitis in his right wrist and forearm. That strange injury, to say the least, caused him to miss two games for the Kings.
The Kings GM at that time, Jerry Reynolds, was also in disbelief seeing how one of their best players was so reckless, even though it might be somewhat understandable. Simmons was only 22 at the time and just came to the league fresh out of college.
“It’s not unusual for Lionel to be focused on something. But to hurt himself like that?”Lionel Simmons
In his first four seasons with the Kings, he averaged 15 points and eight rebounds, but later, he lost his place in the starting lineup, which significantly impacted his performance. He would later return to his hometown of Philadelphia, living life like any other average citizen. It would be great to find out if he still owns a Game Boy console or even plays it. It’s considered ancient technology nowadays, which some of the younger generations never had the opportunity to experience unless their parents have kept on to it.