After sustaining a a blow to the head in Game 4 last Tuesday, George Hill — who’se been a major headache for the Knicks — was ruled out of Game 5 and it looks like Game 6 tonight. This is part of the league’s new concussion policy that prevents players from returning to basketball activities until they are symptom free. And it appears to be working.
The only problem is, it’s REALLY hurting the Pacers.
Concussions are the nouvelles du jour in sports. After mounting evidence that head trauma causes all sorts of serious complications down the road, every pro league has revamped their head injury protocol (at the cost of winning, no doubt). Which raises the question: Where do leagues draw the line between what’s best for the player and what’s best for the franchise? New York Daily News columnist Frank Isola asked a similar question on Twitter today:
If LeBron had a concussion would he be cleared to play? Hmmmm.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) May 18, 2013
For a pivotal Game 6? I’m willing to guess he’d be in the lineup. In fact, I’d say that league concussion policy flies out the window when a premier star is involved.
The same thing happened with Harrison Barnes on Thursday — possibly costing the Warriors their season. After falling on his head, he returned to the game (rocking a few stitches) only to be yanked after experiencing headaches. I’m not saying he should have stayed in the game, I’m simply suggesting that, were he named Carmelo or LeBron, he’d have the final say about his playing time.
If the Knicks win tonight and force a Game 7 back in New York, there’ll be more than a few Pacers’ fans wishing the new regulations regarding concussions wasn’t so black and white for players like George Hill.