go to MSN.com
Originally written on The Victory Formation  |  Last updated 10/30/14

Via The Victory Formation:

Anybody remember Jonathan Bender? Former High School to NBA leaper that never really panned out in the big show?  It’s OK; nobody will fault you if you don’t remember his story. I had to go look up his career page just to remember who drafted him, and how much time he actually spent in the NBA.

Bender was drafted by the Pacers in 1999 and spent parts of seven seasons with the team before leaving the NBA for three seasons.  He attempted a short comeback with the Knicks in 2009, but only played an average of 12 minutes in 25 games.

Of course, his career was derailed pretty early on, as knee injuries took their toll on someone renowned for his jumping ability.  But give the kid credit – he could have become one of the many stories we’ve all heard about former athletes who have nothing to fall back on when their careers are suddenly over.  But Bender was apparently paying attention during all of those hours spent in the trainers room and in workout or physical therapy sessions.  In fact, he was paying such close attention, that he has now invented a new training device for recovery from knee injuries; a topic he has plenty of experience and expertise in.

After announcing his retirement from the Pacers in 2006, Bender was sitting in a Houston park watching people run and walk by when it hit him.

In his mind, he could see a device that acted as an external hamstring, which could exercise the hips, glute and quad muscles without putting pressure on the knees.

With duct tape, ankle weights, thick rubber bands and office binder clips he bought at an area drugstore, Bender made the prototype for what he now calls the JB Intensive Trainer. Bender invested a little more than $80,000 into his invention, which he now contracts to have made in China and sells for $130.

cta-3And it appears that the device just might actually work, and work well.  After his initial retirement from the NBA, Bender was advised by doctors that he should never try to play again.  But he spent years rehabbing, and using his own device.  When he returned to the Knicks in the 2009/10 season, it was in no small part due to the strength he had gained from using his own product:

Knicks doctors at the time said Bender had the strongest lower extremities on the team. Bender averaged nearly six points a game during his season in New York. It was a long way from an all-star-caliber season, but not bad for a guy medical experts said would never play again.

As someone who has suffered from years of knee injuries, this is pretty intriguing.  I’m not thinking about making an NBA team anytime soon – my jump shot has really fallen off in the past ten years, mostly due to the fact that I can’t jump anymore – but strengthening the legs and muscles around the knees is something I think most people over the age of 30 can appreciate.

7 Comments:
  • How is it a bust to play 7 seasons in the NBA? The average NBA is career is less than that. He also made $30 million in his career. More than every single employee of Yardbarker will EVER make in their entire lives COMBINED.
  • Really, after reading that article that is what you took out of it??? Get a life where you don't see the negative in every thing...jerk.
  • I agree he did well for himself. But, I think they are saying his career was a bust because he didn't live up to his expected hype coming out of high school, not because he didn't make a lot of money. If LeBron only averaged a few points a game and seven seasons, his NBA career would have been considered a bust too, no matter how much he made.
  • comment below viewing threshold

    show comment

  • That's not what he took out of it. That's what he took into it. The author used "bust" to make the story more compelling and they were wrong.

    As soon as I saw the picture of Jonathon Bender, I knew the writer was way off base. Injuries do not create a bust. Losers like tossing around the term bust, because it somehow makes them and the athlete on equal footing, and it makes the story more colorful, if it were true.

    I'm sorry the author of this "piece" chose not to identify themselves, otherwise we would know who the real career bust is.

    By the way. Awesome job JB. Way to turn a negative into a positive. I'm sure you'll make more off this invention than the yard barker rag writer's do at their...umm.. craft.
  • I agree with awesome job, and I live in Indy. Jonathan was never able to realize his potential, but the locals realize he had a fragile frame and was prone to injury. He did what he could.

    In a period fraught with thugs and bums at the Pacers, Jonathan was not among them. I am happy he has succeeded in his post-NBA life.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Titans WR: Mettenberger better than Big Ben at same stage

Michael Vick: Starting at QB again is a dream come true

Red Sox to reportedly target Pablo Sandoval in offseason

Alex Rodriguez's season-long MLB ban comes to an end

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title

Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

Rockets Harden and Ariza visit Julius Randle in the hospital

Dan Gilbert asked if he 'deserved' to have LeBron back

WATCH: Amar'e sings with Swift for in-arena video bit

WATCH: Randle offers money for massage in jailhouse video

Top storyline for each Week 9 NFL game

WATCH: Chevy guy bombs World Series presentation

WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

Kris Humphries shares nasty photo of gruesome finger injury

WATCH: Joe Panik makes play of the game in Game 7

Russell Westbrook wears aluminum foil-like outfit

WATCH: Capitals' Chimera suffers nasty broken nose

Robert Griffin III to start against Vikings

WATCH: Navy raps about Notre Dame, set to ‘Anaconda’

Rulon Gardner selling Olympic memorabilia to pay $3.9M debt

Knicks News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

RUMORS & GOSSIP

Titans WR: Mettenberger better than Big Ben at same stage

TweetTennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been a hot topic this week. First, he was mocked for tacking pre-game selfies by J.J. Watt. Later, he was called out by his head coach for said selfies and needing to carry himself like an NFL quarterback. Wednesday wide receiver Nate Washington had something positive to say about Mettenberger, proclaiming that Mettenberger...
Via Los That Sports Blog
1 hour ago

Michael Vick: Starting at QB again is a dream come true

I don’t know if it’s all that serious, but Michael Vick will get his shot at being the man again on Sunday. Vick met with the media on Wednesday as the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. He told the media that “getting the opportunity to start is a dream come true.” “When you have a chance to go out and show and prove, I think you’ve got to take advantage of...
Via BlackSportsOnline
2 hours ago

Red Sox to reportedly target Pablo Sandoval in offseason

Now that the San Francisco Giants have cinched their third World Series win in five years, we can all get on to the important business of breaking down Major League Baseball’s offseason. And now that he has helped the Giants win that World Series, third baseman Pablo Sandoval could be on his way out of San Francisco. Rumors have persisted for months that the Boston Red Sox...
Via Rumors and Rants
3 hours ago

Alex Rodriguez's season-long MLB ban comes to an end

Yankees fans don't have a lot of reasons to be happy about the World Series officially putting a bow on the 2014 MLB season. Besides the realization that Derek Jeter will never play in pinstripes again, there's also that uneasy feeling of knowing Alex Rodriguez is officially back on the team once again.Well ... at least A-Rod is celebrating.When Pablo Sandoval caught the...
Via The Other Paper
3 hours ago

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title

Not only did the San Francisco Giants just take Game 7 of the World Series for their third title in five seasons, Madison Bumgarner took his own special place in the long and heralded history of this great sport. After winning two games earlier in the series, Bumgarner came in as a reliever on two day’s rest with the Giants leading 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth. He proceded to...
Via Sportsnaut
12 hours ago

Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in a thrilling Game 7 of the World Series, 3-2. Madison Bumgarner did what he’s done all postseason—get guys out without giving up any runs—and his ERA dropped to a ridiculous 0.25 in the series. Giants fans are celebrating in epic fashion. They’ve already set a couch on fire, and we’ll continue to update this post...
Via The Sports Daily
10 hours ago

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

The results into the probe of North Carolina academics were released last Wednesday, and showed that 3,100 students at the university took the school’s controversial “paper classes” between 1993 and 2011, with 47.6 percent of those students being student-athletes. One person who has received a ton of criticism has been UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, who according Kenneth...
Via College Spun
20 hours ago

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones once again has inserted himself in any and all talk related to his football team by essentially suggesting that Tony Romo should be able to play next Sunday at the Arizona Cardinals if he can tolerate the pain related to back contusion suffered in last week’s game. Speaking on his...Read More The post Jerry Jones: Pain tolerance only thing standing...
Via Sportress of Blogitude
1 day ago

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

washington wizards, wale, rapper, create liaison, perform, bucks, home opener, dc
Via The Kevin Burke Project
20 hours ago

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

There have been a ton of rumors surrounding Joe Maddon and the possibility that the recently departed former Tampa Bay Rays manager would become the new Chicago Cubs head man. According to CBS Sports insider Jon Heyman that is about to become a reality. joe maddon to become cubs manager. story up soon at @CBSSports — Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 29, 2014 Maddon opted out...
Via Sportsnaut
18 hours ago
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.