Before Patrick Ewing suited up for Game 2 of the Knicks-Pacers series, countless scribes evoked the image of another New York big man's return—Willis Reed's heroic hobble onto the Madison Square Garden court to help his team beat the Lakers in Game 7 of the 1970 championship series. Here are a few more kings and queens of pain who took playing hurt to a new level.
1964 STANLEY CUP FINALS, GAME 6
Defenseman Baun broke right ankle blocking Gordie Howe shot but returned in overtime to score winning goal for Maple Leafs against Red Wings. Baun also played Game 7, in which Toronto clinched Cup.
1976 OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS
Broke right leg at knee during floor exercises in team competition. With Japan trailing U.S.S.R., Fujimoto completed two more events, including the rings, in which he nailed dismount to score 9.7. Japan won gold.
1979-80 NFL PLAYOFFS
Rams defensive end fractured left fibula against Dallas in the first half of second-round playoff game, had it taped and went back in to get sack in second half. Played in NFC title game and Super Bowl, in which Steelers beat Los Angeles 31-19.
1988 WORLD SERIES GAME I
With strained left hamstring and sprained right knee, pinch hitter Gibson hit full-count, two-out homer in bottom of ninth to give Dodgers 5-4 win over Athletics. L.A. won Series 4-1.
1996 OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS
Believing team gold medal was on the line, Strug took second vault on badly sprained left ankle and stuck landing for score of 9.712.
1996 OLYMPIC LONG JUMP A Week after dropping out of heptathlon with severely strained right hamstring, Joyner-Kersee leaped from fifth to third and bronze in final attempt.
1996 BUD AT THE GLEN
Having broken clavicle and sternum in crash two weeks earlier, Earnhardt, in flak jacket and protective harness, won pole and finished sixth.