Kaman calls NBA concussion protocol a bunch of “crap”

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Dallas Chris Kaman is out with a concussion, one suffered in practice after a hard fall where his head hit the floor.

Kaman doesn’t get to decide when he can come back. Neither do the Mavericks or their team doctors. Under the NBA’s new concussion protocol instituted last year, Kaman has to pass a mental test after a level of physical exertion that shows he is all the way back.

Or, as Kaman sees it, a bunch of crap. That is what he told the Dallas Morning News:

“I got to take it tomorrow,” he said (of the concussion test). “It’s the stupidest test ever. For so many years in the NBA, they never had to do that stuff and now they come up with all that concussion protocol crap. It’s not cool, but it is cool, I guess. It keeps people safe. I just try to do the right things and wait until I can pass the test.”

Why the tests? Well, Kaman’s next statement explains it.

“I’m still having a little headache,” he said. “Hopefully, it’ll progress, I’ll take that test, pass it and hopefully be able to play sooner or later. I’m tired of sitting around. I’d rather be playing, but at the same time I understand there’s a proper way to do things medically to keep people safe.”

Players want to play. They will lie to coaches to do so and coaches are happy to be lied to if they get a player back. Team doctors are paid by the team, not the players, so you can decide where their interests lie.

So the NBA set up a system where players take a baseline test before the season then after a concussion need to get back to near that baseline before a league neurologist lets them back on the court. It’s not in the players hands, not in the team’s hands, it’s a decision made by a neutral third party.

Which is how it should be. That’s how you keep players safe.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.