A Reaction To Dante Exum’s Torn ACL In Gif Form


On Thursday afternoon, news broke that Utah Jazz point guard Dante Exum has indeed torn his ACL. The injury was a result of a freak accident while playing for his native Australian national team in a “friendly” against Slovenia.

Initial reports have Exum going under the knife in the next few days and missing the entire 2015-2016 NBA season.

This is basically the worst-case scenario and my heart is broken. I will now attempt to both react accordingly to the news and begin the grieving/healing process.

It all started with Exum playing lights out in the first game of the Utah Jazz Summer League against the Boston Celtics. He looked bigger, stronger and appeared to be coming into his own as a player.

Then, while driving into the paint, he landed awkwardly and went down. We were all like:

Exum was diagnosed with an ankle sprain and would miss the rest of summer league play, but was told that he would make a full recovery. The one game he did play showed a ton of promise and things seemed to looking up for the Utah Jazz and their young point guard.

Soon thereafter, Dante jetted to the Land Down Under. There he would play for the Aussie Boomers as they prepared for the 2015 FIBA Oceania Championship. I, for one, was excited that Dante was going to spend his summer hooping.

Exum spent the first few games with Australia hardly playing and not making much of an impact—much like his rookie season. It was rather boring and Jazz fans were left waiting for something to happen.

Tuesday, August 4th, rolled around and Australia was going head-to-head with Slovenia in a friendly game. It didn’t seem super interesting, but maybe Exum could show us a thing or two…

Then it happened.

In the first half of the game, Exum catches the ball and immediately goes straight for the basket. Aggressiveness, I like it!

Dante simultaneously splits a couple of defenders and makes a jump stop. He looks as if he’s going to splash in a beautiful little tear drop over Slovenia’s center.

Instead, when Dante elevated, his knee exploded, causing the rest of his body to flail into a pile of limbs and anguish.

Every Jazz fan simultaneously screamed the exact same word.

We all feared for the worst. Dante’s knee was now a shriveled garbage heap of ligaments and excrement.

Exum wouldn’t return for the second half of the game. He was photographed on the bench with his knee heavily wrapped.

Which had us all feeling like:

Not long after the game, Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy tweeted this out.

We were all left in Purgatory, with nothing but our anxiety, doubts, grief, panic and fear. Dante was flying back to Utah to undergo an MRI and get final word on the extent of his injury.

During that time, I realized the Jazz point guard rotation would most likely be Trey Burke, Raul Neto and Bryce Cotton.

Fast forward to today, when the official news broke. Our young gun, who had shown so much promise and growth, had indeed blown out his knee. On a non-contact play. During a “friendly” game.

An avalanche of emotions washed over Jazz Nation. This is a big blow for a team poised to make a splash and play postseason basketball come April 2016.

To be an optimist, I offer you a silver lining. Exum is only 20 years old and an elite athlete in excellent physical condition. He’ll also have access to some of the world’s best doctors, physical therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers and anything else he’ll need to make a full recovery.

We can take people like Adrian Peterson and Paul George as examples of bounce-back players. Modern medicine is reaching miracle type levels and I feel pretty good saying that Dante will be just fine.

A glimmer of hope shines on.

The Jazz also will be getting Alec Burks back from a successful shoulder surgery. And while he’s not a point guard, he has major playmaking and scoring ability. He’ll be a huge help.

So yes, Jazz fans, this may be a step back, but it’s a temporary one. The Jazz are still going to make that splash. The core of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert is still intact and ready to wreak havoc. Quin Snyder is still at the helm. Dennis Lindsey is still working his magic.

Everything is going to be all right.

Next: Brock Motum Signs in Lithuania

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