Brandon Rush’s season is over after 2 games.
The Warriors announced that an MRI exam on the team’s top reserve disclosed a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Rush’s left knee. He will have season-ending surgery in the coming days. The typical rehab time is at least 9 months.
“He’s not doing great. He’s devastated as you can imagine,” expounded Rush’s agent, Mark Bartelstein. “It’s a traumatic thing to go through for anybody. We’re going to work out the solution and work with the Soldiers and come up with a great plan to get him back. But for the moment, it’s devastating with surgery and rehabilitation ahead you.”
All the good vibes entering Golden State’s home opener fizzled in a second.
Rush jumped in the air for a dunk when Zach Randolph fouled him from behind with 4:09 left in the 1st quarter of the Warriors’ 104-94 loss to Memphis. Rush landed awkwardly, and his knee bent badly as he tumbled to the court.
The small forward got up on one leg, waved his arms in the air, and shook off teammates who tried to help. Rush covered his face in discomfort and at last limped to the locker room with the support of teammate Jeremy Tyler and trainers.
Memphis selected 3rd-string center Andris Biedrins to shoot the free throws. The home fans booed Biedrins – the former starter – before he missed both. Las Vegas odds
Richard Jefferson and 2nd-round pick Draymond Green will need to fill the void in Rush’s absence. The Warriors could also use the disabled-player exception to sign or trade for a player who earns as much as half Rush’s annual salary.
Rush signed an $8 million, 2 year agreement in July — with a player option for the 2013-14 season — after coming over in a trade from Indiana for Lou Amundson last year. The 27-year-old Rush appeared in 65 of 66 games, posting career highs by shooting 50 percent from the field and 79 percent on free throws.
The forward fit seamlessly into coach Mark Jackson’s system and became one of the team’s best perimeter defenders, particularly late in games.
Rush averaged 9.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 26 minutes per game last season. He shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range – 6th-best in the NBA – and was Golden State’s best option off the bench.
“It’s a tough time,” Jackson expounded before the Warriors played the Clippers in Los Angeles. “It’s a blow for us, no question about it, as we lose our best perimeter defender. Some teams you probably do not need to address when something like this happens, but this is an extremely close-knit group, and you could tell they were affected as soon as it happened.”
Rush was drafted No. 13 by Portland Trail Blazers in 2008 after leading Kansas to the national championship. He was then traded to Indiana together with Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts for Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu.
Rush originally announced for the NBA draft in the 2007 season till he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He never signed with an agent and returned to school, playing for the Kansas Jayhawks again only half a year after surgery.