Oregon State guard Roberto Nelson shattering a backboard while dunking in Macedonia last month was a legendary moment that happened to be captured on video. We eventually got to watch the glass rain down on Nelson and see the bloody mess on YouTube. It was must-see stuff.
For Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, it was difficult to believe. In fact, he told The Oregonian's Paul Buker and Lindsay Schnell on KPAM 860 AM that he initially thought Nelson was pulling his leg.
"As soon as it happened, I get a Skype from Roberto, and he's got these bandages on," Robinson said. "I mean, he looked like the old Lon Chaney mummy back from the old movies. And I didn't believe him because Roberto is a prankster, and I was like, 'Get out of here. Nothing's wrong with you.'
"He had these bandages on his face, and he had them on his arm, and he was like, 'Coach, I broke a rim and shattered the glass that's in my face and I got 21 stitches.' I was like, 'Get out here. I don't believe you. You're the boy who cried wolf.' And then [teammates Joe Burton and Kevin McShane] got on and they were like, 'Seriously, this really happened.'"
From the Daily Barometer:
"He thought we'd just bandaged Roberto up; he thought it was all a joke," Burton said with a laugh. "He even thought we used makeup."
Whoops. Nelson was fine after getting stitches, but the incident shook him up. Robinson was also thankful that one of his top players didn't get hurt worse and came away instead with a story to tell and some scars.
"He was very lucky because they still have the old glass backboards over there, so those were shards of glass that were falling as opposed to the tempered glass they have over here that just shatters, but it doesn't break," Robinson told the station. "He said there was a piece of glass that just missed his foot that probably would have really done some damage had that hit his foot."
And that would have been no laughing matter.