Derrick White Is an NBA Champion, but He's Also Without Half of His Tooth

Derrick White is down a few teeth, but he'd happily trade them for his NBA championship.


Jun. 18 2024, Published 9:41 a.m. ET

Derrick White flashing his smile during the NBA Finals.
Source: ABC

After 16 years without one, the Boston Celtics are now champions once again. They beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 in Game 5 on their home court, winning the NBA Finals 4-1. As the celebration commenced among the team and in Boston, some fans wanted to know what happened to Boston starter Derrick White during the game.

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Although Derrick was certainly celebrating with his teammates, he also suffered a fairly odd injury during Game 5. Here's what we know about what happened to him and how he chipped a tooth.

Derrick White during game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to Derrick White?

Derrick's injury happened after he hit the floor face-first following a collision with Mavericks center Derek Lively II in the second quarter of the game. Derrick was bleeding from his mouth following the injury but decided to remain in the game. Ultimately, we learned that he had chipped one of his teeth. He was also quick to add that he had chipped a tooth before, so he knew what was happening immediately.

Apparently, some of Derrick's other teeth also felt loose following the incident.

"They were trying stuff in the locker room. I was like, 'I don't care. Just play,'" he explained.

Derrick chose to continue playing in spite of the injury and hit a three-point shot just a few minutes later.

"I said, 'eff that tooth,'" Derrick said. He finished the evening with 14 points, eight rebounds, one assist, two steals, and a block.

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Derrick would have traded all his teeth for a ring.

While Derrick's chipped tooth may not have looked great, it appears that it was a sacrifice he was more than willing to make.

"I'd lose all my teeth for a championship," Derrick said during the presentation of the Larry O'Brien trophy. "I'll get it fixed. I'm going to enjoy this one."

Derrick even got teased by his teammates during the game, with Jaylen Brown telling him, "You sure is ugly," eliciting a laugh from Derrick.

Source: Twitter/@NBA
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Jaylen went on to win Finals MVP, but Derrick was a crucial piece of the team's success in the finals and throughout the 2024 playoffs. While many teams in the NBA are driven by one or two stars, like the Mavericks were, the Celtics played like a complete team, and that ultimately helped them clinch their victory after losing just three games throughout the entire playoffs.

While the legacy of this Celtics team is still being written, and some of how they're viewed will come down to what they do next, this small bit of lore will only increase the feeling that Derrick was willing to do anything for his team.

While you can still run around and shoot the ball with a broken tooth, that doesn't mean it's the most fun way to spend a day. Like the rest of his team, though, Derrick was locked in and focused on victory, and that meant that even a chipped tooth was not going to stop him from doing everything he could.

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