Former Mavericks center Shawn Bradley paralyzed after a bicycle accident

Liz Roscher
·3-min read

The Dallas Mavericks released a statement on behalf of retired 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley on Wednesday, revealing that he was recently struck by an automobile while riding his bike and suffered a serious spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed.

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Shawn Bradley released the first public details today of the accident he suffered on January 20, 2021. Bradley, the 7'6" former NBA player with the Dallas Mavericks, was struck from behind by an automobile while riding his bicycle a mere block from his home in St. George, Utah. The accident caused a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. After undergoing neck fusion surgery, Bradley has spent the last eight weeks hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation.

Bradley, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spent two years performing missionary work in Australia after his freshman year at Brigham Young University. Following his mission, Bradley was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the number two pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, but he spent the majority of his career with the Dallas Mavericks. His very strong sense of faith is being tested as he participates in grueling physical therapy and learns how to cope with the challenges of paraplegia. Doctors have advised him that his road to recovery will be both long and arduous, perhaps an even more difficult physical challenge than playing professional basketball.

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. He plans to use his accident as a platform to bring greater public awareness to the importance of bicycle safety.

20 Dec 2000:  Shawn Bradley #44 of the Dallas Mavericks walks on the court as Head Coach Don Nelson looks on during the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks defeated the Trail Blazers 106-101.  NOTE TO USER: It is expressly understood that the only rights Allsport are offering to license in this Photograph are one-time, non-exclusive editorial rights. No advertising or commercial uses of any kind may be made of Allsport photos. User acknowledges that it is aware that Allsport is an editorial sports agency and that NO RELEASES OF ANY TYPE ARE OBTAINED from the subjects contained in the photographs.Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez  /Allsport
Shawn Bradley announced in a statement that he's been paralyzed after a bicycle accident in January. (Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez /Allsport)

Bradley asked to convey his deep appreciation for the outpouring of well wishes and prayers he has received from family, friends and fans. Their support has energized his recovery and bolstered his confidence that he will manage the long process ahead successfully. He does not plan to issue further public updates, preferring to devote his full concentration on his rehabilitation.

Bradley, 48, played for BYU before he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick in 1993. The Sixers traded him to the New Jersey Nets during the 1995-1996 season, and the Nets traded him to the Mavericks the next year. Of his 12 seasons in the NBA, Bradley spent nine of them with the Mavericks.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson also released statements about Bradley's accident, wishing him the best in his recovery.

Mark Cuban:

“We are saddened to hear of Shawn’s accident. Shawn has always been incredibly determined and shown a fighting spirit. We wish him nothing but the best in his recovery. He will always be a part of our Mavs family.”

Donnie Nelson:

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Shawn’s injury and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. In his eight-plus seasons in Dallas, Shawn demonstrated all of the qualities you want in a person representing your organization. He has always exhibited unwavering grit and determination and we are thinking of him at this difficult time. He is a Maverick for life.”

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