The 2021 postseason has been a rough one for Philadelphia 76ers fans, to say the least. With a relatively fortuitous path to the title laid out in front of them, the Sixers instead channeled their inner Keystone Kops in a highly disappointing second-round exit at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. Team cornerstone Ben Simmons regressed so much on the offensive end, culminating in The Pass, that fans have turned torch-and-pitchfork on a 24-year-old three-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year runner-up; his departure seems inevitable and we’re left hoping Daryl Morey has some leverage left in trade negotiations.
Understandably then, as we Sixers fans sat down last night to watch Game 1 of this year’s NBA Finals, there likely weren’t a ton of good vibes swimming through our heads. One of the few fun storylines was the thought of seeing Process Legend Dario Saric get minutes in a Finals series. The Homie wasn’t expected to be a main player in this unfolding drama, but still, seeing him dive for loose balls and flip up seemingly awkward shots in the paint for 10 or so minutes a night was sure to be a regular source of smiles in the greater Delaware Valley.
So naturally, in this cursed postseason, just two minutes into his first Finals appearance, Dario left the game for good with a right knee injury. Here’s the injury where something happens to his knee while coming to a jump stop on a drive to the hoop:
Here’s the injury to Dario Saric. Likely injured it on the plant under the hoop. pic.twitter.com/uvn4U53yyE— ACL Recovery Club (@ACLrecoveryCLUB) July 7, 2021
Dario, ever the team player, manages to keep hustling and recover the ball to a teammate before starting to visibly limp. Shortly thereafter, Saric exited the game and had to be helped back to the locker room. This five-second clip is about as sad as the opening minutes of Up:
Suns Dario Saric was helped back to the locker room holding his knee.#NBAFinals2021 #RallyTheValley pic.twitter.com/XO5I2q2MyD— JWALSports Productions LLC (@JWALSports) July 7, 2021
A few minutes later, Saric was ruled out for the rest of the game. While we don’t have an official diagnosis on the injury, your mind goes to worst-case scenarios with that sort of non-contact incident involving a knee. The Suns would go on to win Game 1, 118-105, but Sixers fans watching at home lost their emotional north star in these NBA Finals.
Get well soon, Dario.