Hornets Coach Admits He’s ‘A Baby,’ Wants Davis Concussion Or Not

CHICAGO –- Hornets coach Monty Williams wasn’t happy to be facing Chicago at United Center on Saturday without rookie big man Anthony Davis, who was kept back in New Orleans for further testing after suffering a mild concussion in the first half against Utah on Friday.

It was teammate Austin Rivers‘ inadvertent elbow that clipped Davis in the side of the head, putting him out of what became an 88-86 loss. But it was the NBA’s precautionary concussions policy that prevented Davis from flying with the team to his hometown — his only scheduled appearance of 2012-13 in Chicago — and will sideline him until he satisfies the requirements of physical testing and a neurological exam.

Now, please know that Williams was mindful of the NBA’s fining power when he spoke with reporters before the game. But as he spoke, he revved up a little and he didn’t mince words.

“When you’re dealing with the brain, I guess what’s happening in football has affected everybody,” the Hornets coach said. “You treat everybody like they have on white gloves and pink drawers. It’s getting old. But it’s just the way the league is now.”

Williams also said: “It’s a man’s game and we’re treating these guys like they’re five years old.”

Rivers sounded surprised that Davis got hurt at all. “I feel bad, because we both closed out [defensively on an attacker] at the same time,” the rookie guard said. “I don’t know how – he’s 6-9 – I don’t know how his face hit my elbow.”

That was that, though. A history of serious head trauma, especially in the NFL but across sports, led the NBA to examine its teams’ treatment of concussions. Prior to last season, the league installed a formal policy with which all players must comply. Some return to action quickly, others endure longer layoffs. The Hornets got snagged because they had back-to-back games this weekend and there wasn’t enough turnaround time, no matter how “normal” Davis feels 24 hours later.

“I’m not saying I don’t like it,” 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 they 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. So I understand it, but as a coach, I’m a baby about it. I want my guys ready to play.”

Especially this guy – Davis, pro-rated to 36 minutes, has averaged 24.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor (10-for-18) and a perfect 9-for-9 from the line in his 1 1/2 appearances. And especially against this team – the Bulls have a strong frontcourt and scored 115 points on 63.8 percent shooting at Cleveland on Friday. They started Ryan Anderson in Davis’ spot next to center Robin Lopez.

Said Williams: “That’s basically the bottom line. I’m a baby.”

Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980.

13 Comments

  1. Gelo says:

    So he gets a possible concussion from that. Does anyone remember when Harden got elbowed real hard by World Peace? It didn’t have as much drama as this one.

  2. yoyoyoyo says:

    if that was me i wouldnt of even left the court.
    its def no meta on harden elbow

  3. Lee says:

    Young gun, Austin Rivers, needs to refine his mouth. ‘face hit my elbow’? That’s like saying ‘she got pregnant’.Good on you for taking some responsibility but please take FULL responsibility, even if it was an accident.

    • AussieCeltic says:

      how can you take full responsibilty for an accident? seriously,

      an accident as it is defined in the dicitonary for you…

      ACCIDENT
      noun
      1.
      an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.
      2.
      Law . such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.
      3.
      any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.
      4.
      chance; fortune; luck: I was there by accident.
      5.
      a fortuitous circumstance, quality, or characteristic: an accident of birth.

      WAKE UP!

  4. Brian says:

    Mild concussion can lead to great damage, therefore must be checked.

  5. Hm says:

    Williams is right though. And so is Rivers. The players should have more say in whether or not they play.

  6. MONTY WILLIAMS, YOU NEED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR AT YOURSELF!

    YOU LOST ALL EMPATHY TO WIN A GAME?
    WHERE IS THE MONTY OF OLD, KIND, CARING, GOD FEARING.
    DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO PUT THIS MAN’S LIFE IN DANGER OVER A ~ G A M E ?

    WORD FROM THE WISE, MONTY, AND I KNOW YOU WELL. STAY HUMBLE OR ~ F A I L ~

  7. Audrey says:

    Better safe than sorry. He is the franchise…one game is not going to determine a championship.

  8. Chester says:

    this concussion business is becoming a nuisance in many sports. i can understand with footy because of the contact, but basketball i don’t know

  9. Darin Ford says:

    You can’t blame Williams. He knows he needs Davis. … who doesn’t?

  10. Adrian Taylor says:

    Yes we need some real men to step up and play the Game instead of a bunch over paid little old ladies