On January 20, 2021, Bradley was riding his bicycle a block from his home in St. George, Utah when he was struck by a driver from behind, according to the release. The impact caused caused a “traumatic spinal cord injury,” leaving him paralyzed. He underwent neck fusion surgery, spending the last eight weeks hospitalized and undergoing rehabilitation.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Shawn’s injury and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family,” Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson said in a statement. “In his eight-plus seasons in Dallas, Shawn demonstrated all of the qualities you want in a person representing your organization. He has always exhibited unwavering grit and determination and we are thinking of him at this difficult time. He is a Maverick for life.”
Bradley appeared in 582 regular season games and 43 playoff games with the Mavericks from 1997 through 2005, when he retired from the NBA. With Dallas, the 7’6” Bradley averaged 7.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks.
He began his NBA career following two years of missionary work in Australia—Bradley is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—when the Philadelphia 76ers selected him with the no. 2 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft.
His sheer size brought Bradley instant notoriety. He played three seasons with the Sixers and averaged 9.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks. During this time, Bradley also appeared in the 1996 cult favorite Space Jam alongside a slew of NBA stars.
Bradley also played two seasons with the then New Jersey Nets before being traded to the Mavericks.
Although Bradley is in good spirits, according to the release, doctors have told him that his recovery will be “long and arduous.” He plans to use this incident to bring greater awareness to the importance of bicycle safety.
“We are saddened to hear of Shawn’s accident,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said. “Shawn has always been incredibly determined and shown a fighting spirit. We wish him nothing but the best in his recovery. He will always be a part of our Mavs family.”
Speaking on behalf of the staff here at Mavs Moneyball, we echo the sentiments of Nelson and Cuban. Our thoughts and well wishes are with Bradley and his family as they go through the recovery process.