On Feb. 12, former Louisville basketball star Ray Spalding signed a two-way contract with the Houston Rockets in the NBA. Before this signing, the Cardinal-alum and 2018 second round pick, had not played in an NBA game since April 2019.
That is until Feb. 13 when he got eight minutes of action and scored two points, hauled in a couple of rebounds, and blocked a shot.
A couple of days later, Spalding saw even more action with over 10 minutes played against the Wizards. He was playing well and the coaches were clearly rewarding him with some playing time for his early success in the G League this season.
That all came crashing down when Spalding was forced to leave the game with what was described as just an achilles injury. Not much more information beyond that was provided.
Typically, that’s a sign of bad news when an injury is specifically described as an “achilles.” Spalding could be seen on the sideline looking concerned about what his injury could potentially be.
Those worries were confirmed the next day when he was waived by the Rockets four days after his chance was given.
The public still left with curiosity about what his injury was, Spalding took to Instagram to announce that he had ruptured his achilles in the course of action. His shot was ruined just two days into his stint and he was waived for his troubles to boot.
It’s a harsh reality of the business as Spalding looks to work his way up depth charts and secure a consistent rotational spot in an NBA lineup. He had worked for almost two years for this moment just to have it stripped from him with a devastating injury.
There’s no doubt that when healthy, Spalding dominates the G League and deserves a spot somewhere on the sport’s biggest stage.
It will be a long journey back with endless rehab and hard work. But Ray Spalding should see it through that the work allows him to make it back to this point once again.