'Twas the first half of the first game in the first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs. I was a rookie with no idea of how to approach a playoff series. We were facing a 20 point blowout to the highly favored Miami Heat but we had more than enough fight in us and had proven we could recover from large deficits. The adrenaline just kicked in as we began to make a run when Miami's play began to get sloppy due to the lopsided scoreboard. I'm pushing the ball with a full head of steam coast to coast after a steak (how Knicks fans fell in love with me in the first place), I met Mario Chalmers at half court and began an in and out move to blow by him and start my approach to get my hands on the rim. I knew a statement play was needed but Rio jumped the move...damnit! I tried to abandon my decision in the middle of stepping the other direction and that's when I heard the pop in my knee!
My whole career, I never faced a season ending injury but I knew from that noise my first taste of playoff basketball was over and my first taste of a playoff rival was birthed. I became a mere cheerleader from our locker room as my torn ACL wouldn't even allow me a chance to sit on the bench with my squad.......or as we called ourselves at the time...#theknickstape.
After tearing my ACL and being in the locker room speechless, the only silver lining giving me any confidence to look up was speaking with Dr. Lisa Callahan (the New York Knicks' primary physician). Reason she was able to calm me was because she assured me, with all of her, that she hired the best surgeon in sports, Dr. Answorth Allen. I was always comfortable leaving my health in her hands. She told me that in two days I would take a private flight back to New York and that she wanted me to have my surgery done at the Hospital For Special Surgery.
She promised me that if I allowed him to repair my knee when I got back to NY, that in a few years I would forget I ever had the surgery on my knee and that I would be back going thru my legs to dunk on the breakaway. Needless to say that to this day she has never lied to me! In 8 months I was back to doing everything I could do on the court and more!
The care I received at HSS was extraordinary. From the food...to the drugs (loved the Percocet haha)...to the friendly nurses. Through the pain they made sure I had plenty laughter, plenty hugs and most of all I felt NO PAIN!
I would put my name on the line for this hospital in a heartbeat. Not only did they fix me up but they've continued to follow my career even though I parted ways with the New York Knicks. They will always receive a tremendous amount of respect from me for extending my career by repairing everything I tore. Can't thank them enough and can't say it enough...Dr. Answorth Allen is the best!
-Iman Shumpert I