You've surely heard by now that during last week's scrimmage at Cleveland High School, Greg Oden's elbow collided with Joel Przybilla's eye, resulting in a new shiner and a couple stitches for "The Thrilla." So just to recap, that's a rookie cutting a grizzled vet in a scrimmage. One could assume said rookie was going to have hell to pay.
But that's not how Joel Przybilla rolls. Rather than taking out any residual aggression on his fellow center, something more than a few veterans around the league would be happy to do, Przybilla is content to shrug it off as one of those unavoidable job-related hazards.
"I’ve been cut up before," said Przybilla. "I just took an elbow to the eye. It happens."
Przybilla would know. Aside from the most recent infirmity, Przybilla has had to deal with a hematoma in the groin region, a broken finger and a case of bronchitis, which might prompt some to question whether bad luck is following the Minnesota native.
"If I could change my luck I would, but there’s nothing I can do about it," said Przybilla. "I’ve been playing in the league nine years. I’ve been lucky enough to do that, so something is going right. A couple of injuries here and there don’t bother me.
"It hurts. It doesn’t look like it’s too bad, but still. That night it hurt, I ain’t going to lie. But I just suck it up and deal with it. What’s complaining going to do? There’s nothing you can do about it."
What's more, Przybilla, despite ending up on the business end of Oden's chicken wing, takes full responsibility for (get this) jumping into GO's elbow.
"I was the one who jumped into his elbow to tell you the truth," said Przybilla. "He was going up for a rebound and I kind of jumped into him. My eye went into this elbow and that’s about it. There’s not much to it.
"He apologized. He felt so bad. That’s the way he is. He’s a good-hearted kid."
It takes a big man to pay a compliment to a guy whose elbow just poked a hole through your monocle.
But what say you Greg Oden? Aren't you getting off a bit light here?
"I apologized like 30 times!" said Oden. "I didn’t mean to do it. Me and him were talking before the scrimmage and he was like, ‘Yeah GO, be soft. Ain’t nobody getting hurt. We ain’t trying to use no energy.’ And when it happened I was like, man [shakes head].
"I didn’t think I jumped over him. I thought I had a clear path and he kind of came where I was coming down at. It was a scrimmage and nothing was really supposed to happen but I still feel bad about it. He made me feel good though. He was like, ‘It happens.’"
Letting a rookie off easy after he sends you to the ER for stitches? That, my friends, is chemistry.