NBA player Chandler Parsons faces potentially career-ending injury after car hit by drunk driver, law firm says

WILLIAM MANSELL

NBA player Chandler Parsons faces potentially career-ending injury after car hit by drunk driver, law firm says originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

NBA player Chandler Parsons was in a potentially career-ending car accident, reportedly involving a driver who was under the influence, according to the law firm Morgan & Morgan.

Chandler, who is a small forward with the Atlanta Hawks, was reportedly driving home from practice around 2 p.m. on Jan. 15 when his vehicle was struck. Parsons, according to his attorneys, "suffered multiple severe and permanent injuries including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation and a torn labrum."

Parsons' attorneys, John Morgan and Nick Panagakis, said his injuries could potentially end his nine-year NBA career.

PHOTO: Atlanta Hawks forward Chandler Parsons was involved in a severe car accident after practice, Jan. 15, 2020, in Atlanta. (Courtesy Morgan & Morgan)

"Chandler is having a difficult time accepting the consequence of the defendant's reckless conduct on the roadway," his lawyers said in a statement to ABC News.

The alleged suspect was not identified by the firm, but it said the driver was arrested and charged with a DUI. The driver who allegedly hit Parsons was unconscious at the wheel when police arrived, according to an incident report obtained by ABC News. The responding officer said the suspect "was only able to answer one question coherently." and that he "smelled heavily" of alcohol, which was "emitting off his person and breath." The report also said the suspect admitted to having an alcoholic beverage that day. A 7-Up bottle filled with alcohol was found in the driver's seat, according to the incident report.

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The Hawks, in a statement on the day of the incident, said Parsons was involved in an accident after practice. The team said he was diagnosed with a concussion and whiplash and that he would enter the NBA's concussion protocol. They announced Monday he was out of their next game with "concussion/whiplash/associated disc injury."

PHOTO: Chandler Parsons, #31 of the Atlanta Hawks, drives to the basket against the Detroit Pistons, Nov. 22, 2019, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. (Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images, FILE)

The team has not disclosed any further details about his injuries or the crash.

"Chandler was in peak physical condition at the time of the wreck," Parsons' legal team said in a statement. "He is now working with a team of doctors to regain his health, and at this time, his ability to return to play is unclear. Our focus right now is on helping him make a full recovery, while we also work to hold any and all responsible parties fully accountable."

Police said Parsons was driving straight through the intersection of N Druid Hills Road and Buford Highway when the drunk driver turned left and struck his and another victim's car.

The report said Parsons told officers he had injuries to his back, neck and head, but that he didn't want to be transported to the hospital. The third driver said she was sore but also refused to be taken to the hospital.

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Parsons is on the last year of a four-year, $94 million contract. He was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Hawks prior to the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season.

The forward was selected by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. He has also played for the Dallas Mavericks. In college, Parsons was named an NCAA All-American while playing for the Florida Gators.