Doc Rivers said his grandmother wanted Hakeem Olajuwon deported when he gave Doc a concussion
With the sudden suicide of NFL legend Junior Seau on Wednesday, concerns about concussions in sports have reached an all-time high. While the reasons behind Seau’s decision to take his own life may never be known, there are many who believe his suicide could have something to do with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a condition caused by repeated brain trauma that can lead to depression and dementia.
During an interview with WEEI in Boston on Thursday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked if he had ever suffered a concussion during his NBA playing days. Rivers said that he had, and that his grandmother did not take it very well.
“I was (concussed before),” Rivers said according to Sports Radio Interviews. “(Hakeem) Olajuwon got me once and I will tell you a true story. I got knocked out by Olajuwon and my grandmother, who is Jim Brewer’s mother, actually called David Stern and she wanted him deported. I never knew that. David Stern told me that years later. She wanted him out of the country.”
As you can see, almost all former and current players have experiences with head injuries at some level. And almost all grandmothers despise that unfortunate aspect of the game, I’m sure. Concussions and head injuries are an unfortunate consequence of the existence of the leagues we love, and hopefully technology and rule changes will continue to help improve the means we have for protecting players.