LAS VEGAS – Portland Trail Blazers rookie Scott Henderson left his Summer League Basketball debut with an unspecified right shoulder injury in the third quarter against the Houston Rockets and did not return.
And he wasn’t the only notable rookie to suffer an injury in the game.
Rockets rookie Amen Thompson, who was selected with the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NBA draft, left the same game with an apparent left ankle injury late in the fourth quarter. He was injured while intercepting a shot by Blazers center Ibou Badji with about 50 seconds left after the two became tangled under the basket.
Henderson, third in the draft last month, finished with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes. It was not immediately clear how Henderson was injured and Blazers summer coach Jonah Hersco said he did not know when or how the injury occurred.
“Just be careful,” Hersco said.
The Blazers did not make Henderson available, saying they wanted him to be taken to a facility where he could have a proper medical. He walked out of the locker room with headphones around his neck and stopped to have a short chat with head coach Chauncey Billups. He then received a phone call, holding the phone in his left hand, and was escorted out of the arena by the Blazers. Henderson returned to the arena an hour after his game to wave and shake hands with family and friends in the stands. He raised his right arm several times and lunged at the guardrail with his right arm to make contact. It didn’t look like he was holding a shoulder.
Teammate Chris Murray said he did not understand the injury was serious. “It’s not too bad,” Murray said. “It’s something you don’t want to push too much into in the summer league.” Murray said he built his opinion by reading Henderson’s body language in the locker room. “I’m not a doctor, and I don’t know the ins and outs of the human body . (But) I think it’s okay. You don’t have to worry about that.”
Thompson scored 16 points with five assists in 28 minutes.
“I just blocked the shot,” Thompson said afterwards, “and fell on his foot and sprained my ankle.” “It’s really up to the machine (if he’s going to play this weekend). I know I’ll be good but it’s up to the staff if they want to save me for this season.”
Henderson and Thompson were the warm-ups for No. 1 player and international sensation Victor Wimpanyama, who was scheduled to debut with the San Antonio Spurs at the same Thomas & McCenter Stadium in Las Vegas, right after the Blazers-Rockets game.
The Rockets won 100-99 on a roaring shot by Jabari Smith Jr.. , the No. 3 pick in the 2022 draft.
Jason Quick and Kelly Echo contributed to this report.
(Photo: Lucas Peltier/USA Today)
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”