Tag: NBA concussions

Monty Williams

Hornets coach Williams fined $25,000 for concussion comments


Our own Brett Pollakoff called this in his original post on the news — Hornets coach Monty Williams was going to be writing a check to the league.

Tuesday the NBA fined Williams $25,000 for his comments critical of the league’s concussion policy.

For some background, Hornets star (and No. 1 overall pick) Anthony Davis suffered a concussion last Friday after taking an inadvertent elbow from teammate Austin Rivers.

The next night the Hornets traveled to Davis’ hometown of Chicago to take on the Bulls but Davis did not make the much-anticipated trip. Under the league’s concussion policy which began last season, Davis must pass a series of tests and be cleared by a league neurologist before he’s allowed to return to the court.

Williams went with the silly “old school tough guy comments” on the issue.

“He got touched up a little bit last night. That happens a lot in basketball. It’s just that now they treat everybody like they have white gloves and pink drawers and it’s getting old. It’s just the way the league is now….

“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.”

The very point of the policy is to protect the players from themselves and teams pressuring them to play. This is not us guessing concussions are bad — there is a huge body of evidence showing that repeated concussions have serious long-term impacts on the brain. They need to fully heal. The league should not take risks like that with players’ health, there is a time to step in and say this is not something they can decide for themselves.

All of which is to say, Williams was wrong. And it’s going to cost him.

NBA taking serious look at new concussion policy

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul left the court on a stretcher Sunday. He is still out due to a concussion.

Last month, it was the Heat’s Mike Miller missing games (even though they said it was not a concussion).

The NBA doesn’t have many formal policies regarding head injuries, something Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute said needed to change. NBA spokesman Tim Frank told the Associated Press that may soon happen.

“The NBA Team Physicians Society has been studying the issue of concussion management for several years and each team follows its own treatment and return-to-play protocols,” he said. “In addition, the league is working with a consulting neurologist concerning the possible adoption of a league-wide protocol.”

The NFL and NHL both have concussion policies, but those are full contact sports where the injury is more common.

The NB Players Association also is tracking head injuries, the union told the AP.

More and more research is leading to more and more information about concussions, the potential damage and treatments. While the NBA should not be going to helmets — concussions are not that common — having a baseline policy on how to deal with them when the do happen seems only logical.