Wuxiaworld > Almighty Coach > 614 Another Perfect Recovery

614 Another Perfect Recovery



Dai Li held a tablet in his hand and read the title of the news article. An odd expression appeared on his face.

"'The Los Angeles Clipper are basically committing murder! Murder? What does that even mean?" Dai Li furrowed his brow. He did not furrow it because of the article title, but because his picture was attached to the title. His image had been photoshopped to make him look like a murderer.

The first half of the news article mostly just praised Noel. It basically stated that he was diagnosed with blood clots but was still determined to recover. The superstar, who loved basketball and was immensely professional, was a model for every athlete to look up to.

The latter half of the article described the Clippers as heartless. They knew that blood clots were life-threatening, yet they still allowed Noel to play. The article portrayed them as capitalists without consciences. Even if Noel's blood clots had been removed, the anticoagulation drugs still made it impossible for him to participate in intense physical contact sports. Allowing him to play in the NBA was simply handing him a death sentence.

The accusation of murder was aimed at Dai Li. At the end of the article, it even pointed out that if something were to happen to Noel, then the one who would undeniably be responsible was Dai Li.

"I helped Noel return to the court and let him continue playing basketball. This should be viewed as an act of kindness. Shouldn't they praise me? Why are they accusing me of murder? I really don't understand how you Americans think," Dai Li said, a little bit confused.

"I found someone to investigate the article. This story came out of Miami," said the team general manager, Johnson.

Dai Li thought for a moment and said, "I haven't done anything to anger Miami!"

"It was something conjured up by the Heat," Johnson said. "Miami Heat feel wronged, but they can't do anything. They had to resort to a low-handed tactic to mess with our season. If they succeed in stirring up public opinion and manage to put pressure on us, then they will be a bit better off. If Noel plays, and something happens, then this article will be brought up and be used against us."

Dai Li nodded to indicate that he understood.

Chris Noel used to be a player for the Miami Heat. He helped the Heat win multiple championships, and had been a star of the NBA. Before discovering the blood clot, the Heat paid Noel as much as they could and he was the pillar of the team. Even after Noel was diagnosed with the disease and forced to stop playing the game, the Heat also said that they were willing to retire Noel's jersey number.

When he was a player, they paid him as well as they could and, when he stopped playing, they were going to retire his jersey number. Such treatment was only offered to accomplished stars of the NBA.

The Heat originally thought that, by treating Noel that way, they had done their part. They didn't think that Noel would actually return, much less that he would join another team. This meant that the Heat had taken a huge loss!


Noel had left the game due to the disease so, even though he had been fired by the Heat, his salary had been paid by the insurance company. That meant that the Heat did not lose anything. Now, however, it felt as though they had simply handed over a superstar to the Clippers, which was unacceptable to the Heat.

In the NBA, superstars were a scarce resource. Superstars were able to pick which team they played for, not the other way around. Every superstar was wanted by every team. If a particular superstar implied that he was willing to join a particular team, then that team would do anything it could to try to clear up the salary space they needed to sign the superstar. Otherwise, they would bargain as much as they could to make the deal happen. Salary space was less important than having a superstar.

A superstar of the highest level could even make the management of teams kneel down and lick their shoes. The NBA ruled that teams could not negotiate contracts with free agents before the first of July. Therefore, on the evening of June 30th, a large number of cars belonging to team managers were parked outside the mansions of superstars. At 11:59, the managers would get out of their car, walk to the front of the gate, place their fingers on the doorbell, and wait until it was twelve before pressing it. After that, they did their best to persuade the star to join them.

The team managers were willing to wait outside someone else's house in the middle of the night instead of getting a good night's sleep. This was for the chance to be the first to invite whichever player they were going to join whichever team they managed. That was the way superstars were handled in the NBA.

Because superstars were such a scarce resource in the NBA, the management of the Heat, felt that Noel should have chosen to return to his old team. Instead, Noel went to the Clippers, so the Heat viewed his return as a loss.

There was a myriad of methods that NBA teams could be used to annoy one another. Teams were not as kind to each other as they seemed to be. If one were to look at the NBA as a business, then a deal involving a superstar was worth around 20 to 30 million dollars per year. In the current era, business deals worth several million dollars were important enough to have business firms go to war. One definitely had to do anything necessary to secure a 20 to 30 million dollar deal.

On top of that, the Miami Heat were never a team that was considered kind. The management always adhered to a "Commercial Alliance" spirit. This meant that they definitely did not mind using sneaky methods in order to stir up trouble for other teams in the league.

As for the other teams in the league, they did not want to see the Clippers become stronger either. After all, everyone was in the same league so, on some level, competition existed between every team.

Johnson said, "Noel's return has been approved by the league. Six months of medical reports were enough to prove Noel's health. I don't think the league will restrict Noel's participation due to a news article. I am, however, worried about public opinion."

Dai Li waved his hand and said, "I'm the exact opposite. I'm worried that the league will do something. As for public opinion, as long as Noel performs, everything will settle down by itself. For the fans, as long as their favorite stars have great stats, then they won't care about potential injuries and what not."

...

Inside the locker room, Chris Noel changed into his jersey.

According to NBA rules, players who were not listed as an active player could only wear a suit when they were at the stadium. Noel had received this sort of treatment before; he had only been able to watch games wearing a suit on the bench. To him, it had been torturous.

For normal people playing a random game that didn't mean anything, it was already fairly anxiety-producing to sit on the sidelines. A superstar, who played in the NBA, felt much more anxiety about being sidelined.

Due to his blood clots, Noel had been forced to warm the bench for multiple games. He could only watch his teammates play. His hands had itched. His heart had felt even worse. It had been tough to endure.

Now, it seemed like his days of suffering had come to an end and that a sweet future awaited him. He could finally return to the court.

The new jersey he wore felt both strange and familiar. At that very moment, his hands started shaking. He was overwhelmed and could hardly contain himself.

A random disease had forced him off the court. It had even made him bid farewell to basketball. Now, he was back!

...

Staples Center, Los Angeles

The Clippers were facing the Spurs at home. It was Noel's first game since his return.

Without the cover of his teammates, Noel dribbled quickly to an advantageous position. He received the ball quickly and completed a jump shot. All the while, the player defending against him could not keep up. He could only stare helplessly as Noel shot under no pressure.

The ball went in. The stadium instantly erupted into applause.

"His score is now in the double digits. He's scoring 50% of his field goals, which is pretty good too. Looks like we don't have to worry about his form anymore!" Dai Li said, smiling.

Noel was different from the other Clippers players. The other players had been forced out due to injuries. Their forms had gotten worse prior to their leaving the game because they had been afraid of injuries. This had caused their play to deteriorate. In the end, they were not on par with the players warming the bench.

Noel, however, had been forced into early retirement due to blood clots. Before he had retired, he had still maintained his all-star level. Getting a 20+10 had been very simple for him. It could be said that he had left the game in top form.

Noel had also still been in his prime when he returned. In the months before the current season, he had still continued training. Therefore, when he returned to the court, he found it easy to return to his previous form.

The Clippers also did not have a tactical system. They relied on their superstars. On the Clippers, once he received the ball and had a good opportunity, he would play solo. If he did not have a good opportunity, then he would pass the ball to his teammate and his teammate would play solo. This sort of simple strategy, which relied on the individual capabilities of the players, did not demand any adaptability. Any star player could play this way once they got on the court. The ball could be thrown anywhere once it was in their hands. For an experienced offensive player like Noel, it was a very handy strategy.

Noel performed with great efficiency in the game. He played 25 minutes and scored 16 points, obtained four rebounds, and got one assist.

Things unfolded as Dai Li predicted. The fans only cared about the stats of their favorite stars. As for potential injuries, they were unimportant in the face of good stats. The following day, the media mainly reported on Noel's perfect recovery. As for the problem of his blood clots, it seemed as if it had been completely forgotten by the people.

This was what happened in sports. A player's results were the most important things. Excellent results were enough to make the public forget about all the negative news.

...

In his first game since his recovery, Noel had tested the waters and easily gotten 16 points.

In the following game, Noel got more game time and contributed more to the team. With Noel, the Clippers were fearless in the power forward position.

For a big man, Noel was quick, agile, and had a great leap. He excelled in two scoring methods. He was good at scoring with a post-up followed by the turnaround jumper. He was also good at using the opponent as a cover or for a pick-and-roll and following it with a high-jump shot. His field goal percentage for these two methods were exceptionally high. Moreover, he also had considerable ability to breakthrough into the paint and he could make three-pointers. He try to make three-pointers that often, however.

In the league, Noel was regarded as a top-scoring paint protector.

As basketball developed, human started to realize the different functions of space. One needed space to breakthrough and to shoot. As such, in the current NBA, a good paint protector was a scoring paint protector who also efficiently protected space. As a paint player, if he could not help the team create space, then he would only be a second-tier player.

At one time, centers who could make three-pointers had been very popular. It had been because centers who made threes created more space. During that time, a lot of centers who were awful at free throws began to practice their three-pointers.

Then, the expert tacticians in the NBA quickly realized that when centers were shooting three-pointers outside, the paint was empty. This meant that they surrendered their chance of getting an offensive rebound. Without offensive rebounds, the team would have zero chance of initiating a second offense. Considering that three-point field goal percentages averaged around 30 to 50 percent, one had to go for the offensive rebound most of the time. Giving up the chance to initiate a second offense for the benefit of getting a little room was not worth it.

With that tactical understanding, centers were more likely to sit below the basket and protect the paint. The coach would rarely ever design a tactic that needed centers to shoot three-pointers. Because centers had to protect the paint, the power forward became the first choice for creating space for the team.

Power forwards who were good at shooting were originally more popular in the league. Many centers who were able to make shots also played as power forwards so that they could create more space.

A power forward who created space was regarded as a tactical weapon for a team. Entire tactical systems would change if a team obtained a power forward that was able to create space.

Chris Noel had, coincidentally, been the best power forward in the league when it came to creating space. He could break through for a layup as well as he could shoot. As soon as he stepped towards the three-point line on either side of the court, the defenders would have to be prepared to swarm him. A superstar player like him also had multiple offensive methods. On top of that, he was a big man, so he was hard to defend against. After all, it was harder to defend against a big guy than a small guy.

Noel's addition to the Clippers did not just strengthen the team a little bit. It was not merely a matter of getting an extra player. It was also a matter of a lot more space being created for the entire team.

Everyone on the Clippers was a top-class scorer in the league. They had MVPs and the scoring king of two consecutive seasons. Not only did every player in every position master their scoring methods, but they also had their own offensive skills that were impossible to defend against. Once players like them were allowed space, scoring was easy as pie.

...

Professor Thomas was an expert in hemophilia research.

Hemophilia was a coagulation disorder. Blood clots were an anticoagulation disorder. Although one was the opposite of the other, in medical research, they belonged in the same studies. Therefore, Professor Thomas was also an expert in blood clots.

A good illustration of opposites being more similar than one would think in the medical field was hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The former is the excess of the thyroid hormone while the other is a lack of it. The symptoms were the exact opposites of each other but, when visiting the doctor, one had to go to the endocrinology department for both. Doctors who were adept at treating hyperthyroidism were also good at treating hypothyroidism. It was the same the other way round.

A while ago, Professor Thomas had been out in Europe for a business trip. He first went to Switzerland in order to participate in an academic seminar. Then, he had gone to Sweden for a conference with a couple of academics. After that, he went to Germany to visit a few medical cases before finally going to England to diagnose several wealthy individuals. In total, he spent around half a month traveling around Europe.

In this half a month, Thomas was kept busy. He had not had time to pay attention to other things. It was like this for doctors, they got so busy that they couldn't take care of anything else. Even a doctor in the U.S.worked more hours than those with other professions.

Upon returning to New York and getting off the plane, Professor Thomas bought a newspaper and quickly scanned through the headlines.

Finally, he reached the sports section and he saw an article about Noel's return.

"What? Noel is back? He played? He played for 25 minutes!? Does he want to die!?" Professor Thomas exclaimed.

Professor Thomas had provided a diagnosis for and had treated Noel, he completely understood Noel's situation. In his opinion, it was impossible for Noel to return to the game. His disease did not allow him to continue playing in the NBA.

"Which bastard doctor allowed him to play. This is plain murder! The doctor who let him play should lose his license. He should be charged!" Thomas said in anger. Later, he took out his phone and called Noel.

Thomas was considered a doctor with a conscience. He planned to persuade Noel to stop playing basketball.

The call was quickly picked up and Noel's voice came from the other side. "Hello Professor Thomas, it's been a while."

"Mr. Noel, I just read the news. I heard that you've returned to the NBA!" Thomas sounded somber. "You've made a grave mistake. You cannot play at an NBA level with your disease. Your life is in danger!"

"Professor Thomas, if you're talking about the blood clot, then you don't have to worry. The blood clots in my body have completely dissolved. There won't be any pulmonary embolism or cardiac infarction. My life is not in danger," Noel answered.

"It's not hard to dissolve blood clots, but the anticoagulation drugs will affect your body's ability to coagulate. If you overuse them, they might even induce hemophilia. With the intensity of the NBA, if you get internal bleeding and it isn't discovered in time...it's hard to imagine the consequences," Thomas continued.

"There's also no problem with my body's ability to coagulate," Noel continued, "How do I put this… I'm completely cured!"

"Cured?" Thomas asked, rhetorically, as if to say, You're kidding me, right?

"I'm really cured. I have six months of medical reports from Dell Medical Center. The NBA also officially approved it," Noel said.

After hearing that, Thomas remembered that if Noel could play, it meant that the NBA had officially allowed him to play. The NBA was a huge league, so they must have a bunch of world-class medical experts as consultants. These medical experts were certainly not there for show. Since they allowed Noel to play, then it did mean that there was nothing wrong with Noel's body.

"Your body is really alright?" Thomas asked.

"Of course. Look. I can already play," Noel answered.

Thomas was still dumbfounded, so he asked, "How did you treat it?"

"Training!" Noel said. "My coach created a training plan for me."

How was Noel's answer so casual? It was so casual that it made Thomas smile.

Thomas usually had a solemn face, as if he had stepped on the tail of a dog and the dog was chasing him.

"Training can cure blood clots? Hehe…"

Then, the conversation ended.

...

In the blink of an eye, Noel had already played seven games and the Clippers had a seven-match winning streak. The seven-match winning streak allowed the Clippers sit firmly in fourth-place in the Western Conference.

During this period, Noel submitted another medical examination report to the league to prove that his body was alright.

His stats were great and his body had recovered. The league had no reason to prevent Noel from playing, and those who wanted to see Noel make a mess of things also shut up. No one was stupid, everyone could see Noel's return-to-form.

Noel had felt anxious after being gone from the court for a long time. He finally made it back to the court, so he naturally wanted to prove himself. As such, he exerted extra effort in every game. A superstar player like him, who was already better than everybody else, was going to be phenomenal if he was in the right headspace.

After seven games, Noel was playing 30 minutes per game and his averaged 17+6.

It was a case of another perfect recovery.