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Christmas Comes Early For Jeff Pendergraph

Being injured in the NBA is no fun: constantly answering questions about how you feel at that exact moment, constantly estimating how long it will be until you return, constantly receiving all sorts of treatment that may or may not be working, constantly on your way to rehab appointments.  You're only able to watch practices as guys develop on-court cohesion and, often, you're left home on long road trips when the rest of your team bonds away from the court.  You can't move around very well and there's way, way too much down time.  

When you're a rookie like Blazers backup power forward Jeff Pendergraph, who went down with a hip injury that required surgery before playing his first minute as a pro, it's doubly frustrating.  Not only are you sidelined from playing but you're sidelined from making a first impression on your team, coaching staff and fans.  

By all accounts, Pendergraph is eager to please.  The scouts say he will run through a wall for Nate McMillan.  Kevin Pritchard praised his personality during pre-draft workouts and rewarded him with a contract this summer, despite his injury.  Pendergraph gamely showed up on Media Day with a big smile, hopped around on his crutches and said all the right things. In recent weeks, Pendergraph put aside the crutches and got a few shots up after practice. Still, it's a slow recovery and his return to the court remains months away (January is one recent guess).  

That's why it brought a smile to my face this morning as Pendergraph seems to have found something to occupy his downtime... Click through for details... 

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter

At midnight last night, the hotly-anticipated update to the popular Call of Duty video game series was released.  

As you can read from his twitter stream, Pendergraph stood in line through the night to be one of the first people to own a copy.  He then appears to have played the game for almost the entire morning, taking breaks for rehab work and to tweet about how awesome the game is.  Hilarious.


Ike Diogu would be proud.

When it is said that "NBA players are just like you and me" sometimes that is true and sometimes that is really, really false.  In this case, I think Jeff Pendergraph has proven himself to be a man of the people.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter