When Stephen Curry went down to the floor in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final, his head hit the wood pretty hard. Not only was this a moment of suspense for us die-hard fans, but it also became the latest incident in an ongoing debate around head trauma and clearing players to get back out on the court.
Curry was eventually cleared to renter the game, but that left some of us wondering, is the concussion testing used in the NBA, and sports in general, effective? Effective enough to clear a player minutes after the injury?
Many were left questioning if it was really worth a player’s health and safety to put him back in, instead of giving him 24 hours to see if he was clear. According to many doctors, there is a lot at stake, and if it happened anywhere other than a professional finals event, the player would have been pulled immediately.
Others believe it was handled appropriately, at least according to protocol.
So it begs the question, does the protocol have the player’s safety in mind, or the team’s ability to get someone back out on the floor? Certainly, we want all our favorite teams to have all of our favorite players at their disposal, but at what cost? I certainly don’t want to see Curry or any of the warriors permanently hurt due to head trauma, so I’d like to see a deeper dive into the rules around head trauma and what exactly is required of team doctors to clear a player. Maybe next time this happens, a bit more time in the locker room is important.