Skip to content

Hornets’ coach Monty Williams not a fan of NBA’s concussion policy

Nov 4, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Anthony Davis, Monty Williams

Anthony Davis, the number one overal pick in this year’s NBA Draft, missed the Hornets’ 89-82 win over the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday — but not because he wanted to. And his head coach, Monty Williams, has a big problem with that.

Davis suffered a concussion on Friday, and left the game late in the second quarter after taking an inadvertent elbow to the forehead from teammate Austin Rivers. Under the league’s concussion policy, Davis must pass a series of tests and be cleared by a league neurologist before he’s allowed to return to action.

Davis supposedly felt well enough to play against the Bulls, but the league policy prevented him from even traveling to Chicago with the team. Before the game, Williams wasn’t shy about letting everyone know just how he felt about the league’s rules on concussions.

Here are the quotes, via Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago:

“When you’re dealing with the brain, I guess what’s happening in football has impacted everybody,” Williams said before the game. “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.”

Poor choice of words from Williams, I think, because what would “pink drawers” imply, exactly? That pink is a color favored by women, and that somehow if a player wore that color he’s less of a man? Not great, obviously. Let’s press on.

“It’s a man’s game,” Williams said. “They’re treating these guys like they’re 5 years old. He desperately wanted to come, but he couldn’t make it.”

Along with the “pink drawers” remark, the “man’s game” comment seems to be more ridiculous macho nonsense. Although giving him the benefit of the doubt here, “man” could just be his way of saying “adult,” when viewed alongside the part about players being treated as children.

“I’m not saying I don’t like (the policy),” Williams said. “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.”

This last part is really the worst of it, once you drop the faux outrage at the political incorrectness of the earlier comments.

The entire reason the league has a concussion policy in place is to protect the players from themselves — and possibly from certain head coaches that might try to tell them to “man up” and play after such a serious injury.

Players are always going to want to play through injury if at all possible; part of the reason they’ve made it to the professional level is because of a competitive drive that is far beyond that of most people. It can’t be up to the player or to the team to make that call, when it would almost always fall on the side of a short-term benefit instead of a concern for the possible long-term effects.

And speaking of short-term versus long-term, we’re talking about a number one overall draft pick missing the third game of his NBA career as a precaution. Is it really worth fighting about? This isn’t Game 7 of the NBA Finals, this is a likely lottery team playing a meaningless November game in the first week of the season.

Williams’ comments on this issue were beyond inappropriate; they were shameful. Expect a fine to be handed down from the league office, and a public apology to be given in the very near future.

Latest Posts
  1. Michael Carter-Williams cleared to return to practice Nov. 6

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Michael Carter-Williams

    Reigning Rookie of the Year had offseason shoulder surgery, but may not miss many regular season games.

  2. Gregg Popovich after Spurs go 2-5 in preseason: ‘We look like we’re not very interested’

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

    Gregg Popovich Gregg Popovich

    Defending champs have no reason to exert themselves until the games count in the standings.

  3. Nets head coach Hollins believes Brook Lopez will be ready for opening night

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    New Jersey Nets practice 05/07/2014 New Jersey Nets practice 05/07/2014

    Lopez hasn’t practiced since it was reported he suffered a soft tissue injury to his surgically repaired foot on Oct. 16.

  4. Report: Klay Thompson’s camp ‘frustrated’ Warriors have yet to offer a max contract extension

    Oct 25, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Klay Thompson Klay Thompson

    Warriors hold (almost) all the leverage, because Thompson will be a restricted free agent next summer.

  5. 67RIEFNS: Warriors starters with Draymond Green

    Oct 25, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers

    Lineup data shows Green greatly improves his team’s chances when playing with the starters.

  6. 67RIEFNS: Lance Stephenson on the loose

    Oct 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers Charlotte Hornets vs Philadelphia 76ers

    Is Stephenson ready for responsibility that comes with going from Pacers to Hornets?

  7. Report: Cavaliers have had ‘zero discussion’ on contract extension with Tristan Thompson

    Oct 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Tristan Thompson Tristan Thompson

    It might be because short of an insane offer of a max deal, Thompson would rather take his chances as a restricted free agent next summer.

  8. Kings’ Ray McCallum sinks put-back at the buzzer to beat Lakers

    Oct 25, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Ray McCallum AP

    Nice job of McCallum to stay active on a play where he had already missed a shot.

  9. 67RIEFNS: Isaiah Thomas vs. Sacramento Kings

    Oct 25, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings Los Angeles Clippers v Sacramento Kings

    Will Thomas make Kings regret choosing Darren Collison over him?

  10. Thunder’s Anthony Morrow to miss 4-6 weeks with knee sprain

    Oct 25, 2014, 12:01 AM EDT

    Grizzlies vs Thunder Grizzlies vs Thunder

    Thunder will be very short-handed the first month of the regular season.

  11. Player intentionally makes shot in own basket in attempt to force overtime

    Oct 24, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    And it was probably the smartest possible play

  12. 67RIEFNS: K.J. McDaniels testing the second-round system

    Oct 24, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Getty Images

    76ers forwent any guaranteed salary to hit free agency sooner

Featured video

Heat can make playoffs without LeBron
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4600)
  2. V. Oladipo (4555)
  3. B. Lopez (4554)
  4. K. Lowry (4486)
  5. N. Noel (4441)