It was the medical procedure heard ‘round the sports world.
With Luol Deng experiencing flu-like symptoms just prior to Game 6 against the Brooklyn Nets in the playoffs last year, he was sent to the hospital and given a spinal tap to check for viral meningitis. Not only did the procedure effectively knock him out of the postseason and end his season altogether, it almost killed him.
He experienced complications from the procedure -- including the leaking of spinal fluid -- that sent him back to the hospital. He also experienced massive and rapid weight loss, migraine headaches, and had difficulty walking, among other issues.
On Tuesday, John Paxson publicly apologized to Deng on behalf of the organization for the way they handled the situation in terms of not providing adequate care for their player after the procedure.
To his credit, Deng said he wasn’t bitter about the way things were handled, although if he were, it would certainly be understandable considering the Bulls have either downplayed the severity of previous injuries, or become upset with him for not taking their prescribed medical methods.
"The spinal tap hurt me, but it didn't affect me this year," he told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday. "Last summer, I took a month off to go to Hawaii and work out three times a day. I was so excited to come back and play with Derrick. I love playing with Jo [Joakim Noah]. I was so excited that I didn't care that the spinal tap thing happened."
Deng’s agent, Herb Rudoy, also discussed displeasure in the way the spinal tap procedure was handled by the Bulls, telling NBA.com, "We had several meetings. One was to discuss the medical care he got, or did not get, after his spinal tap [in May], which was of great concern to him."
But Deng said it’s all behind him now and there’s no hard feelings.
"Did I almost die? Yeah. But I really don't want to hold anything against anybody," he said. "I'm not bitter. Please write that: I'm not bitter."