Feb 8, 2011, 7:03 PM EDT
One of the biggest sports topics of the year has been the long-term effects of head injuries on professional athletes. There’s overwhelming evidence that suggest that suffering multiple head injuries, particularly concussions, over the course of a career will significantly decrease one’s quality of life in later years, and even lead to early death.
For all the attention that has been paid to the effects of head injuries on college and professional football players, the NBA doesn’t have many policies regarding head injuries, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute thinks that should be changed:
Three years ago, when he was at UCLA, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sustained a concussion that kept him off the basketball court for eight days, until he completed a series of neurocognitive tests.
That’s why the Bucks forward was so surprised when all he needed to return this season following a mild concussion was simply his word to the training staff.
“I didn’t have to do any tests because we were on the road and doctors were here,” Mbah a Moute said. “They just asked me how I was feeling, and I told them I was feeling better. They were like, ‘You’re fine.”’
Mbah a Moute said he knocked heads with a Dallas defender on Jan. 1 and returned three days later, despite some soreness on his left side of his head. The experience has made him think there should be a league-wide policy to handle every concussion.
“There should be standards in the NBA. You need to do these tests and pass these tests before you can come back on the court. Bottom line. We definitely don’t get as bad concussions as football and other sports, but a concussion is a concussion,” Mbah a Moute said. “It’s a serious injury and there should be tests.”
Concussions aren’t nearly as common in the NBA as they are in football, but hard-charging players like Mbah a Moute and Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace have suffered concussions, and those injuries are just as serious as concussions suffered on the football field. We’ll see if this becomes an issue at the upcoming CBA negotiations — after all, safety should always be a priority.
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