By Jared Cunningham, Dallas Mavericks
Getting Healthy & Staying Positive
I started the second half of the NBA season feeling refreshed. During All-Star break, I went to Los Angeles to hang out with one of my friends. It gave me a chance to relax, enjoy the sun and take my mind off of basketball for a couple days.
Right now, I’m with the Texas Legends of the D-League. Unfortunately, I’ve been out for about three or four weeks now because of tendinitis in my right knee. I’ve been taking time off to really heal, which includes spending time getting treatments at the Mavericks doctors’ offices. I’ve been going into the hyperbaric chamber a lot, which helps get oxygen into your blood flow. I’ve also been getting shock wave treatments to stimulate blood flow in my knee. I have been icing my knee a lot and doing exercises to strengthen my quads. The good news is that I just started getting back on the floor and getting up some shots.
My goal right now is to be ready to play in time for summer league. I’ve been talking to Coach Carlisle, Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson and some of the trainers, and they all have been very supportive. They keep telling me that they want me to get healthy and be able to play without pain. My main focus is to get healthy and then I’ll be back to my old self and be able to do what I know I can do on the court. I’m a young player with a lot of potential, but in order to maximize my potential, I have to get healthy and get stronger.
My Mavericks teammates also have been very supportive. They are always happy when I come back around; they just want me to get better. A lot of the veterans, like Vince Carter and Shawn Marion, are telling me to take it easy. It’s great to hear encouraging words from guys like that who have been around the game for so many years and know what it’s like to get injured. It gives me the confidence to come back even stronger.
Mentally, I’m holding up. It’s been great getting so much support from my coaches and teammates, and I also get a lot of advice from my parents and sister. I talk to my parents every day, and my sister stays with me in Dallas during the season. They tell me to hang in there, stay positive and that my time will come. While it’s unfortunate that this injury happened, I know that there are great things to come.
Being on my own, I’ve been learning how to cook more. I have been making myself pancakes and eggs in the morning. I actually like to go to the store and stock up on groceries. I make breakfast and then my sister makes most of the dinners. Some of her specialties include dishes like jambalaya, spaghetti, mac and cheese, candied yams, baked chicken and fish. I’ll miss that cooking when she goes back to Oakland!
Even though I’ve been doing a lot of resting, I am staying around basketball as much as I can. That includes watching a bunch of college basketball games on TV. I’ve been following my Oregon State Beavers as much as possible, but I think their season is pretty much over. They had a lot of unfortunate injuries, so they weren’t at full strength. I talked to some of the players, and they are pretty down about the season they had, especially because there were such high expectations for them. Even though it didn’t go as planned, they are a great group of guys who will come back stronger next year.
I’ve seen Syracuse, Louisville, and some of the Pac-12 teams like UCLA and Arizona play the last couple weeks. One player I really like is Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse. He’s a tall, athletic guard and I really like to watch him play. Michael wears #1 on his jersey, which was my number in college. He kind of reminds me of myself out there. If I’m going to predict who wins it all, I think Baylor has a chance. Either way, it’s going to be a fun March Madness to watch this year!
Have a great week, everybody! Keep up with me on Twitter and instagram @J1Flight.
Jared Cunningham, a 6-foot-4 guard from Oregon State, was the 24th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs later traded him to the Dallas Mavericks.