It's very very likely that JJ Barea will miss tonight's game against the Nets. He suffered a concussion during the game against the Raptors, and the NBA has a policy about that:
- Every player undergoes baseline neurological testing in preseason to establish cognizance and reaction times
- If a player is diagnosed with a concussion during that season, that player is then held out of basketball activities for 24 hours, or until it's established that said player's lucidity and reaction times are the same as the preseason test
- To gain that clearance, the player must be approved for basketball activities by the NBA's medical staff
Catch that last part? It's not the player's call or even the team's call: it's the NBA's. So even if a team's medical staff clears a player, the NBA can overrule that, or simply not be available in time to make the call.
Yesterday, this new policy came under fire from New Orleans' head coach Monty Williams, who was without #1 pick Anthony Davis for a night after Davis suffered a very, VERY mild concussion against the Jazz:
It doesn't even look like a brain thing. It looks like he just got hit in the eye or something. But the medical staff said it was a possible concussion, and so the NBA's policy was invoked and Davis was forced to sit out the next game, against his and his team's wishes. Williams pulled no punches when asked about it:
"When you're dealing with the brain, I guess what's happening in football has impacted everybody. He got touched up a little bit last night. That happens a lot in basketball. It's just that now they treat everyone like they have white gloves a pink drawers and it's getting old."
Mild sexism aside, what Williams is trying to say it that Anthony said he felt fine, the team said he was fine, so the league didn't have any real reason to hold him out of the game.
It's an interesting paradox, because Williams explicitly mentions the NFL, which is being sued by it's own players for not doing enough to prevent head trauma. Granted, football is a collision sport, but it's still a case where, if you're a different league, you're probably looking at it and thinking, "We better make sure we don't end up in that situation too."
Barea's knock was harder than Anthony's, but still not severe by any stretch. He walked off the floor himself. It was hardly Ron Artest taking down James Harden, or Crash going....well, crash. Barea probably felt it more when Andrew Bynum went all Shawn Michaels on him in the 2010 playoffs.
It's an interesting case where the league gets set at odds with its products. The NBA has a right and a need to protect its assets and its image. The teams have a need to put the best possible basketball roster on the floor they can. The Pups have been woefully disasterous on offense without Barea. If he's cleared by the team to play, then is it okay for him to play? If he's not cleared by the league to play, would it be a health risk for him if the Wolves put him on the court anyway?
All I know is that Barea is probably not going to play tonight, which makes the Net's losing Crash not something we can take advantage of.