Mahinmi Chips Tooth, Plans to Wear Mouthguard
Ian Mahinmi has his appointment booked.
The Pacers’ reserve center will be making a stop to the dentist office on Sunday before heading to practice. He lost half of his front-left tooth during a play early in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ 105-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
By the time media was allowed in, about 15 minutes after the game, Mahinmi had already met with team dentist, Dr. Robin Thoman.
“I already talked to him,” Mahinmi said. “I was like, “Man, I’ll be in your building as you open it.’”
Nets guard Jason Terry’s elbow popped Mahinmi in the mouth, and sent him down on the deck. A timeout was called, allowing Mahinmi to clean up his mouth and handle his frustration.
“I was just mad,” he said, recalling what transpired. “I was thinking, “Sh– man, it’s gone.”
Though it was kind of painful, he said that he was more frustrated that it happened. After all, he owns a fashion company and is undoubtedly the best dressed player on the team, so of course he cares about the way he looks.
Following the timeout, he stayed in the game — only this time with a mouthguard clearly visible.
“You drink a little bit of water, spit the blood and you go back out,” he said.
Team trainers did find the other half of his tooth on the floor. It’s the first tooth that Mahinmi, 27, has ever lost. He now plans to wear a mouthguard.
“I’m wearing one from now on,” he vowed. “I can’t take any chances.”
Mahinmi said that he has worn a mouthguard in games before, just not consistently. The top reason most players opt not to wear one is comfort, because a mouthguard is a bit awkward, annoying and affects how one communicates.
“I’m not used to playing with it,” he said. “Everybody on the team gets one, but if you’re not used it, you’re not wearing it. From now on, I can’t take no chances with it.”
After the game, Mahinmi was the brunt of all jokes, as you’d expect in their tight-nit locker room. David West, who’s known for his bad-man scowl, smiled more than I had ever seen him before. With a good six feet of shoe storage separating their lockers, West looked over to Mahinmi and jokingly asked whether he was going to sleep in the mouthguard, which was in his hand as he discussed the incident.
“I’m supposed to keep it on all the time,” Mahinmi fired back.
Mahinmi, who was married in July, knows his wife, Alexis, is probably more upset than he is.
“She probably is crying right now,” said Mahimi. “She hates any time I get stitches, or anything like that. She’ll be fine.”
Be on the lookout for a photo. Mahinmi plans to tweet one out.