CHICAGO — New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams blasted the NBA’s protocols for determining when a player can return from a concussion, a day after No. 1 draft pick Anthony Davis suffered a mild one.
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.”
His comments came on the heels of Davis leaving Friday’s win over Utah after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from teammate Austin Rivers in the first half. A Chicago native, Davis stayed back in New Orleans to be examined and did not accompany the team on the trip.
He 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.”
Concussions and the long-term effects of repeated blows to the head have become a hot-button topic in sports the past few years, most notably in the NFL. Other leagues have also taken steps to make the games safer, but Williams apparently thinks the NBA has gone too far.
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.”