The series of injuries Arvydas Sabonis suffered in the mid- to late-1980s actually benefited the Lithuanian big man, according to his compatriot Šarūnas Marčiulionis, who believes they helped Sabonis refine his game.

Sabonis suffered his first Achilles tendon injury in 1986 and then had Achilles surgery in 1988 but was rushed back to the court by the USSR Olympic team for the 1988 Olympic Games. Sabonis would eventually develop chronic knee, ankle and groin issues.

But while many say those injuries limited Sabonis’ mobility and explosiveness, Marčiulionis told heinnews in an interview that they actually made the dominating force in the paint a more complete player.

“I think his game got more mature. And those injuries helped him to think more and analyze the game as a team player,” said Marčiulionis.

“When he had his skills like to jump and run, there were times when he was more careless with turnovers because he was so much more dominating as an athlete.”

Marčiulionis, who teamed with Sabonis to win a number of Olympic, world and European medals for the Soviet Union and Lithuania, says putting the older, wiser Sabonis together with the younger, more explosive Sabonis was a scary thought.

“I think if you can add his game, his smart game and that athleticism he would have been … who knows.”



We use cookies on this website primarily to improve its functionality. Along with typical standard cookies, we also use cookies and content from Google (maps, YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter) to improve the performance of this site. In order to ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Requirements, all cookies and content from Google, Twitter, Facebook and co. are deactivated by default. They will only be activated once you click "Accept" to allow the use of cookies and third-party content. If you initially choose not to accept cookies, you will not be able to watch videos or access other media content on this site. However, you can change this setting on any page by selecting the option to allow content. For more information please click the link below to read our: Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.