Anthony Davis has been unable to travel with the New Orleans Hornets this weekend after he was inadvertently elbowed in the head by teammate Austin Rivers during Friday’s win over the Utah Jazz. This has annoyed Hornets coach Monty Williams, because Davis supposedly feels fine but has to undergo a series of tests before he is cleared to return to the team, per NBA policy.
Before Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls, Williams ripped the league for its concussion policy.
“Now, they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers and it’s getting old,” Williams said according to the Miami Herald. “It’s just the way the league is now. It’s a man’s game. They’re treating these guys like they’re 5 years old. He desperately wanted to come (to Chicago), but he couldn’t make it.”
Like the NFL, the NBA is also working to counter the long-term effects of concussions by taking precautions such as administering tests. But according to Williams, the NBA is not the NFL.
“I’m not saying I don’t like (the policy),” he explained. “We’ve got to protect the players, but I think the players should have more say-so in how they feel. I’m sure I had four or five concussions when I played, and it didn’t bother me. The NBA is doing what’s necessary to protect the players, but this is not the NFL. You don’t get hit in the head that much. I understand it. But as a coach, I’m a baby about it. I want my guys ready to play.”
While Williams is right that Davis and other NBA players are grown men who can take care of themselves (for the most part), professional athletes have been known to admit that they play through concussions. NFL players even joke about fudging the sideline tests during games, so the NBA is trying to avoid that type of problem.
The more precautions the league takes with concussions, the less players wind up with poor quality of life when they retire. Oh yeah, and less lawsuits.
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