Hornets coach Monty Williams ridicules NBA’s concussion policy
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org November 3, 2012 7:37PM
Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) drives against New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
Updated: December 5, 2012 6:51AM
There was enough disappointment to go around Saturday night with Anthony Davis’ homecoming being put on hold because of concussion-like symptoms.
New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams took a huge swipe at the new NBA concussion rules, saying the league might as well put its players in “white gloves and pink drawers.”
Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft after winning the national championship at Kentucky, suffered a blow to the head with 4:41 left in the first half Friday night in an 88-86 victory over the Utah Jazz. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion, meaning he couldn’t make the trip.
That didn’t sit well with Williams.
“You just do what you got to do,” he said. “We have no idea when he’s going to be back. It’s one of those situations where the NBA, the doctors and the medical staff feel like there’s a protocol that has to take place before guys can get back on the floor. So the better he feels the next couple of days, it helps the situation. But when you’re dealing with the brain, I guess what’s happening in football has impacted everybody.
“He got touched up a little bit last night, and I’m sure that happens a lot in basketball. It’s just that now you treat everybody like they have on white gloves and pink drawers. It’s just getting old, but that’s just the way the league is now.”
Williams was asked about the disappointment Davis expressed in not being able to play in front of friends and family at the United Center, and he took another jab at the league.
“Obviously, he wants to play every game,” Williams said. “I’m sure he has a lot of people here that want to see him play. This city should be proud of who he is, not just as a player but as a person.
‘‘I could tell he was down that he couldn’t come [Friday] night. And it wasn’t any fault of his own. He wanted to come, but the rules say you can’t fly, and again, it’s a man’s game, and we’re treating these guys like they’re 5 years old. He definitely wanted to come, but he couldn’t make it.”
Davis averaged 14.9 points in the preseason. Then he scored 21 points and had seven rebounds in his regular-season debut. He scored eight points before getting knocked out against the Jazz.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had been watching Davis on film and was impressed with the 6-10 rookie.
“Amazing,” Thibodeau said. “Really skilled player. He does everything. He’s going to be a great pro.”