See above for a pun that is also part of my audition for a headline-writer gig at the New York Post. See below for a highly factual breakdown of what happens when D-League practices stop being polite and start getting really real:
Martynas Andriuskevicius (above), whom the Bulls recently assigned to the National Basketball Development League’s Dakota Wizards, is lucky to be alive today after being punched by Awvee Storey, a Proviso West product and Wizards teammate.
The altercation took place during practice Thursday. The 7-2, 240-pound Andriuskevicius, 20, spent Thursday night in intensive care in Bismarck, N.D.
”He has a skull fracture, severe concussion and a two-centimeter hematoma on the left side of his brain,” Andriuskevicius’ agent Herb Rudoy said. ”They’ve been monitoring him because they’re concerned about seizures.
”From what I’m told, when he got hit unexpectedly, he went out cold instantly and fell right back on his head.”
The 6-6, 225-pound Storey has been suspended indefinitely while the NBA and NBDL investigate.
”Awvee’s a terrific kid,” said his Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein. ”They had an altercation in practice, and it’s really unfortunate.
”I know Awvee feels terrible about it. It wasn’t a situation where he just attacked the kid.”
One source said Storey said something to Andriuskevicius, who went over to Storey and got punched.
”He’s lucky he’s not dead,” Rudoy said. ”But I think he’ll be fine.”
Whatever source described the incident sure has a way with the passive voice. A source closer to the story spoke — which in itself is apparently a pretty solid medical achievement — about it earlier today. Link via ESPN, which in turn seems to have ganked most of their quotes from the Chicago Tribune:
“It was a heated situation,” Andriuskevicius said, according to the Tribune. “We were playing basketball. I didn’t say anything bad, but we were talking. I turned my head and I didn’t expect a punch. He hit me. That’s how it happened. But everything is better now. I’m just waiting to come back to basketball.”
Andriuskevicius said that he isn’t going to press charges against Storey.
“It’s not going to help me anyway,” Andriuskevicius said, according to the Tribune. “God is going to take care of it.”
Andriuskevicius’ recovery is still up in the air. “I just started to speak three days ago,” Andriuskevicius said, according to the Tribune. “And I’m still speaking badly. I’m about 80 percent right now. I wasn’t able to talk for a while. But now I feel a lot better. My headache is gone. I’m not taking medicine anymore. My hearing is just off.”
Best wishes to Martynas on his recovery, of course. Storey, a Wizznutzz favorite who came off the bench to provide a few solid minutes during Gilbert Arenas’ offseason arrest in Miami, is most likely in for a new line of work. Thanks to Brendan Flynn for tipping me to this one. When we all work together, no stories of D-League violence need fall through the cracks.