On January 20, former NBA center Shawn Bradley was riding his bike just a block from his Utah home when a car hit him from behind, causing a traumatic spinal cord injury. The 48-year-old was paralyzed, his former team, the Dallas Mavericks, announced in a statement Wednesday. He's been hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation for the past eight weeks, ESPN reports. Bradley, who is 7-foot-6 and one of the tallest players in the league's history, played 12 seasons, the last eight and a half with the Mavericks. He started with the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Nets, the Guardian reports. When he retired 15 years ago, he got into cycling, and has ridden several "centuries," biking 100 miles or more in a day.
"With his wife Carrie at his side around the clock, and supported by an amazing team of rehabilitation specialists and family, Bradley is in good spirits," the statement says. "He plans to use his accident as a platform to bring greater public awareness to the importance of bicycle safety." Henry Grabar argues at Slate that it's not accurate to refer to events like this as "bike accidents." "A child falling off his bike in the park is a bicycle accident," he writes. "A wipeout on the Tour de France is a bicycle accident. Getting rammed from behind by a car is not a bicycle accident." The statement says that doctors have told Bradley "his road to recovery will be both long and arduous, perhaps an even more difficult physical challenge than playing professional basketball." (Read more Dallas Mavericks stories.)