Over the last two seasons, Quincy Pondexter made exactly $7,000,001 from the New Orleans Pelicans without playing a single game.
After being traded to the Pelicans midway through the 2014-2015 season, the defensive-minded wing started 28-of-45 games in that campaign, scoring 9.1 points while pulling down 3.1 boards in 27.8 minutes per contest. But, since then, he hasn't stepped on the court.
This summer, the Chicago Bulls acquired him from the Pelicans, and he is ready to make his comeback on opening night, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN.
After numerous surgical procedures and major setbacks on his left knee, Pondexter finally spoke out about his rehab experience and revealed a shocking never-known-before fact: he almost died from a life-threatening infection.
Per Haynes, Pondexter was diagnosed with MRSA after collapsing in a pharmacy while he was picking up some pain medication. The scary event occurred after numerous surgeries and setbacks on his knee, which seemingly didn’t respond positively to any remedies.
Pondexter and his family thought that his life was truly in danger.
"Quincy never complains," his sister Myisha Pondexter said. "He never complains about pain, swelling or anything. So when he first called, he never let on about how much pain he was in. He didn't ask for help. He's an introvert. I'm telling him it must be the room he's in. I'm just giving motherly advice, not thinking it's anything serious. But by the end of the night, around 1:30 in the morning my time [California], he called begging us to get to New York and saying, 'I'm about to die.'"
In today’s day and age, it’s hard for any athlete to keep any information hidden. But, that’s exactly what Pondexter and the Pelicans were able to do.
"My condition was really hidden because we didn't want anyone to know, and I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me," he explained. "And when I was in the hospital, I would look on Twitter and see all the nasty comments saying, 'He's stealing money. He's at home chillin' and all this s--. Nah, I'm fighting for my life. I was close to dying.”
He also gave a glimpse of his daily routine when battling for his life in the hospital.
"I was getting checked on every two hours in the hospital," he revealed. "I was doing three full bags of liquid antibiotics, which took close to two hours each time. There was a point where I was connected on both sides, whether it was antibiotics or IVs or all types of other medicines to keep me alive. It was pretty crazy. It's a full day, 24 hours, around-the-clock watch over that recovery. You're trying to eliminate an infection that's deadly.”
The 29-year-old forward is ready to make a comeback this season in Chicago. However, with Justin Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, David Nwaba, Denzel Valentine, Paul Ziper and Dwyane Wade all in the mix, he may have a hard time earning significant playing time.
But, he’s lucky to be alive and he knows it. Playing time is probably the last of his worries.