Kings center Chimezie Metu suffered a broken wrist earlier this season when he was slammed to the floor on what coach Luke Walton described as a “dangerous” and “dirty” play by Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas.
Metu was sidelined for six long weeks, an eternity for a young player on a two-way contract. The injury caused him to miss 17 games and untold opportunities, but despite the circumstances, Metu says he harbors “no hate” for Valanciunas.
“It was frustrating,” Metu said. “It is frustrating looking back on it at times because who knows what could have happened in those six weeks for myself and what that could have meant for my career or for the team, for the team’s success. So it’s tough. It’s still tough. It’s tough looking back at it. It was tough in the moment, but I hold no hate in my heart for Valanciunas.”
Valanciunas took exception when Metu dunked on him late in the fourth quarter of the Grizzlies’ 124-110 victory over the Kings on Feb. 14 at Golden 1 Center. As Metu hung from the rim with Valanciunas standing beneath him and nowhere to land safely, Valanciunas pulled him down by his left leg, causing Metu to crash to the floor in a vulnerable position.
Metu put his hand down to break his fall, but be broke his wrist instead. Metu remained in the game and didn’t realize he was seriously injured until X-rays taken the following day revealed a fracture in his right wrist.