Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Remember the leg lamp scene from "A Christmas Story?"
"Fra-gee-lay," the old man read as he opened the box. "It must be Italian."
I think what Ralphie's dad meant to say was "fragile."
Funny. That's the same word I'd use to to describe the NBA's current collection of athletes.
The NBA has been like a clearance sale this season. Knees, ankles, hips, shoulders ... everything must go.
With half the league sitting in Dr. James Andrews' waiting room, fantasy owners have had to pry most of their players off the discount rack.
Think you've got it bad?
What about Johnny from Tulsa who drafted Kevin Love in the first round last October? Or Jimmy in Michigan who has been forced to use Byron Mullens because Andrew Bynum got hurt going for the 7-10 split.
On a personal level, I think I'm getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all the injury notes I've had to type out this season.
Simply put, this season has been a fantasy disaster.
Rajon Rondo was supposed to be a top-five point guard this season. Now it's been so long since Rondo played, I don't even remember what number he wears.
Maybe you put all your eggs in the Danny Granger (knee surgery) basket. If you did, I sure hope you had Paul George as a handcuff. Or at least the phone number of a good therapist.
Five months ago, the Lakers were a lock to win 60 games. But Father Time had different plans for the Fightin' Jack Nicholsons.
Floppy-haired veteran Steve Nash has missed 30 games this season with leg and hamstring issues and 34-year-old Kobe Bryant could be out for a year after tearing his Achilles. Even the younger guys like Pau Gasol (32) and Metta World Peace (33) have fought through their fair share of injuries in 2012-13.
Cavs point guard Kyrie Irving (22.9 ppg) has limitless potential. Too bad his bones are made out of glass.
You'd probably get more mileage out of a Hummer than you would from John Wall (33 missed games) or Ricky Rubio (25 absences).
Amare Stoudemire needed the first two months of the season to recover from offseason knee surgery but he did eventually make his return. Soon after, another knee ailment gobbled him up quicker than Charles Barkley devouring a plate of barbecue.
After firing its head coach and giving up its franchise player, the least the basketball gods could have done was given the Magic a clean bill of health this season. Instead ankle issues have plagued tattoo-covered point guard Jameer Nelson while Big Baby Davis (broken foot) has been doing his best Justin Timberlake impression sitting on the bench with a suit and tie.
The real suckers in all of this are the New Orleans Hornets. They're paying shooting guard Eric Gordon $13 million a year for a part-time job. He's only played on the second night of a back-to-back once all season.
What a rip-off.
On second thought, maybe we were the suckers. We bought into stars like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett and then the Celtics' villain of a coach, Doc Rivers, refused to play them.
"We're resting them for the playoffs," Doc lied to us with a twisted grin on his face. The real reason he did it is because he's an evil maniac. And because Garnett and Pierce are both on Erik Spoelstra's fantasy team.
It's really been a crazy year. Andrew Bogut has gotten hurt so often I'm beginning to think Voodoo really exists.
There is no Cal Ripken in the NBA. Before this year, Portland guard Wesley Matthews had never missed a game in three NBA seasons. That streak ended in December when he finally succumbed to a hip injury. Overall, he's sat out 10 of the Trail Blazers' 79 games this season.
The important thing here is that fantasy owners don't beat themselves up about this. None of us knew that the ligaments in Danilo Gallinari's knee were made out of notebook paper. We didn't know that Andrea Bargnani would spend more time in the trainer's room than Charlie Sheen spends in rehab.
That's not your fault. Heck, it's not even Mike D'Antoni's fault. Sometimes it's just plain old bad luck. And that's always the worst kind.
2013-14 will be better, I promise. I'm already looking forward to it.
Goodbye, 2012-13 regular season. We hardly knew ya.