Flagrant 2: Joel Embiid's Stress Fracture and England's World Cup Woes - Rolling Stone
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Flagrant 2: Joel Embiid’s Bad Break, England on the Brink

The NBA Draft gets turned upside down, England wilts in Brazil

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid

Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s tough to say who had a worse 24 hours: Joel Embiid, the Kansas phenom (and probable #1 pick in the NBA Draft), who just suffered a stress fracture, or England’s national team, who lost to Uruguay and will once again come up short at the World Cup. You know what? Let’s just call it a tie. There’s plenty of misery to go around!

Flagrant 2: La Furia Roja Fizzles at the World Cup

Chug that coffee and get caught up on the two sports stories everyone will be talking about today: This is your Flagrant 2 for Friday.

Joel Embiid Is Made of Fabergé Eggs

Embiid, projected by most to be the first pick in next week’s NBA Draft, will undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot. And the team that held that first pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are now forced to reassess their future plans.

According to his agent, the seven-foot center fractured the navicular bone in his right foot, and will not attend the draft, since his surgery will prevent him from flying for at least ten days. The 2014 draft is next Thursday in New York.

Let’s pause for a moment to remember Joel in happier times:

It’s not clear how (or when) Embiid suffered the injury, nor can we predict how it will effect his stock in the draft, though most prognosticators now see him falling far behind his closest competitors, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker (any time you’re compared to Greg Oden, you know things aren’t going well). We do know, however, that the navicular bone, located at the top of the foot, is difficult to heal, due to circulation issues.

Sources told ESPN that Embiid could be out four to six months, and there is evidence that these types of stress fractures have a high risk of recurrence. The seven-foot center was already facing questions about his health after back issues forced him to miss both the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments during his only season at Kansas.

Luis Suarez Bites England

Also having a shitty day: England.

Once again, the Three Lions were tamed at the World Cup, losing 2-1 to Uruguay. The defeat, their second of the tournament, puts their hopes of advancing out of the Group Stage in serious jeopardy. What’s worse, both Uruguayan goals came courtesy of Luis Suarez, the toothsome talent who plays professionally in England and…well, let’s just say isn’t particularly well-liked in that part of the world.

Suarez first struck in the 39th minute, artfully directing a header past the outstretched arm of keeper Joe Hart. That score came seven minutes after a header by England’s Wayne Rooney bounced off the crossbar, one of several missed opportunities on the day. Rooney did get the equalizer – his first World Cup goal, at that – in the 75th minute, but soon after, Suarez answered, scoring on a breakaway that began after England’s captain, Steven Gerrard, misdirected a long kick from Uruguay’s keeper.

Here’s the inevitable conclusion:

Technically, England still has a chance to make it to the Round of 16, though no team in World Cup history has ever gone through after two defeats. They’re the only team in Group D without a point, and will take on Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Quickly …

The Cleveland Cavaliers have offered their vacant head coaching position to longtime European coach David Blatt, who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague championship last year. This was apparently upsetting to LeBron James, who hasn’t played for the Cavs since 2010. … Looks like Kevin Love may be headed to Golden State, in exchange for several players, incuding one-half of the Splash Bros. … Matt Joyce would never be able to do this again in a million years if he tried. 

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