LeBron James was attended to on the court during Game 3 of the NBA Finals after a scary collision with teammate Tristan Thompson.
James was inadvertently blindsided by Thompson as he maneuvered toward the top of the key on defense:
James lay on the court while play continued, his hands over his face. After a Warriors bucket — a Klay Thompson 3-pointer — the officials stopped the game and the Cavaliers called a timeout to allow trainers to attend to James on the court.
According to ABC sideline reporter Doris Burke, James shook off the Cavs’ medical staff on the bench, telling them he was fine. He stayed in the game, and scored on the very first possession after the timeout.
He later threw down a thunderous dunk in transition:
James had 15 first-quarter points. In the second period, he drove baseline on Kevin Durant for a pretty two points:
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 8, 2017
James made 10 of his first 11 field goals, hit three 3-pointers and had 27 points in the first half alone. But the Cavaliers trailed the scorching-hot Warriors 67-61 at intermission.
James appeared to be just fine, but nonetheless, he likely should have been tested for a concussion. He was clocked in the jaw, and the movement of his head at the moment of contact was pretty violent. It is clear, however, that he wasn’t evaluated for a concussion, because he was not taken back to the locker room, or any other “quiet, distraction-free environment,” which is what the league’s concussion protocol requires:
If a player is suspected of having a concussion, or exhibits the signs or symptoms of concussion, he will be removed from participation by either a team physician or the player’s team athletic trainer and undergo evaluation in a quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to conducting a neurological evaluation.
Surely James was suspected of having a concussion based on the nature of it.
On the other hand, there is absolutely no way James would come out of a Finals game unless he was literally incapable of walking back onto the court. A James injury would have signaled the end of the series. His return to the court allowed Cavs fans and NBA fans all over to breathe a sigh of relief.
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