What's buzzing:

Ball Don't Lie

Hornets coach Monty Williams slams NBA concussion policy, sounds dumb

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

View photo


Monty Williams shows Anthony Davis how to play defense like a man (Layne Murdoch/ Getty).

Two seasons ago, the NBA created a concussion policy to ensure that players who'd suffered brain injuries wouldn't return to the court too soon. As medical science has learned more about the effects of concussions, it has become clearer that there's no way for an athlete to toughen up and play through the aftereffects of the brain slamming against the skull. We haven't yet figured out how to step up rehab for a concussion.

New Orleans Hornets head coach Monty Williams played NBA basketball in the '90s, so he comes from a (slightly) different era. That approach became very clear this weekend when Williams decried the league's concussion policy as it applies to star rookie Anthony Davis, who suffered a "mild" concussion in Friday night's game against the Utah Jazz. From Andrew Seligman for the Associated Press (and first reported by Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com):

Williams unloaded before Saturday's game against the Chicago Bulls, saying, ''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.'' [...]

[Davis] cannot return until he completes a series of tests to determine if he's fit to play.

''It's a man's game,'' Williams said. ''They're treating these guys like they're 5 years old. He desperately wanted to come (to Chicago), but he couldn't make it.'' [...]

Asked what he doesn't like about the concussion policy, he said, ''I'm not saying I don't like it. 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. I understand it. But as a coach, I'm a baby about it. I want my guys ready to play.''

Protestations aside, it's pretty clear that Williams doesn't like the NBA's concussion policy. Instead of realizing that it takes time for players to recover from the injury, and that they can be mildly functional even as the brain needs time to heal, Williams thinks guys should play as soon as they think they're able to. This opinion is quite different from what neurologists know to be true about concussions, and what the NBA stipulated because of those recommendations.

[More NBA: Warren Buffett admires LeBron James' business savvy]

As Williams says, though, he's a basketball coach and wants a full roster as soon as possible. However, what's truly upsetting here is that he turns the concussion argument into an issue of manliness rather than the medical discussion it should be. Criticizing the policy because it forces players to be unmanly turns a discussion of facts into something far different, an argument dependent on vague notions of how a basketball player should act. But those social constructs have always changed with time.

Plus, if Williams read GQ, he'd know that pink is an essential color in any modern man's wardrobe.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Fantasy football video: Monday night predictions for Eagles-Saints
Alabama produces collection of T-shirts commemorating win over LSU
Sources: Super agents cleared in Melky Cabrera cover-up probe
Y! News: Mail-in ballots as risk of being dismissed

View Comments (4)
  • Qatar 2022 World Cup may not need cooling systems

    Qatar 2022 World Cup may not need cooling systems

    By Amena Bakr DOHA (Reuters) - A winter World Cup in Qatar may not require cooling systems to lower temperatures in the stadiums as proposed in the bid for a summer tournament, said an executive from the Gulf state's 2022 organising committee. … More »

    Reuters - 39 minutes ago
  • Venus may follow Serena in ending Indian Wells boycott

    Venus may follow Serena in ending Indian Wells boycott

    By Simon Evans MIAMI (Reuters) - Venus Williams has boycotted the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells since 2001 but said on Monday she may follow her younger sister Serena's lead and return to the event next year. Serena competed in the tournament … More »

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago
  • Kaino first All Black to commit beyond Lions tour

    Kaino first All Black to commit beyond Lions tour

    All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino has signed a new three-year contract with New Zealand Rugby (NZR), becoming the first player to commit to the country beyond 2017, the organisation said on Tuesday. The British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand … More »

    Reuters - 51 minutes ago
  • Hamilton ready to sign on the dotted line

    Hamilton ready to sign on the dotted line

    Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is ready to sign a new contract that, according to media reports, could net him more than $40 million a year. There's no reason why it shouldn't be," the Mercedes driver told British reporters after … More »

    Reuters - 52 minutes ago
  • Tunisia clear to play in 2017 African Nations Cup qualifiers

    Tunisian Football Federation (TFF) vice-president Maher Snoussi has negotiated a deal with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that will enable the country to compete in the 2017 African Nations Cup qualifiers. The TFF was threatened with … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 21 minutes ago