June 6, 2016, 11:43 am
Kevin Love did indeed sustain a concussion during last night’s Game 2 against Golden State. Tom Withers of the AP confirmed the diagnosis and added that Love was cleared to travel with the team back to Cleveland.
This means that the Cavaliers and the NBA poorly mishandled the situation after Love caught an errant elbow to the back of the head. The NBA’s concussion protocol calls for the removal of a player from the game so he can be evaluated in a ‘quiet, distraction-free environment.’ Love, obviously, was not immediately pulled from the game and Oracle hardly counts as a quiet, distraction-free place.
It hardly seems like the protocol was followed after Love sustained a blow to the head, yet the Cavaliers and NBA both believe that it was adequately met.
While Love may not have exhibited signs of a concussion immediately, it’s disheartening that the team and the league are willing to accept this disregard of a player safety initiative. Love was initially hit in the second quarter, remained on the bench, returned to start the third quarter and then was pulled once the game was out of reach (that point may vary, depending on your faith in the Cavs).
He was placed into the NBA’s concussion protocol formally today, meaning he’ll be monitored for 24 hours for any signs of symptoms before ramping his way back up along the spectrum of the ever nebulous ‘basketball activity.’
While the parties involved at least acknowledge that Love sustained a concussion, it’s troubling that the concussion protocol was so easily skirted during the game. The Cavs, obviously, have little incentive to report Love’s concussion right away, especially considering they are in the Finals with a hand hovering over the panic button.
Brain injuries are hard to diagnose, but Love’s seemed pretty easy to spot considering he held his head in the restricted area while the game was played around him. The NBA would do well to find a way to ensure that this kind of incident doesn’t happen in the future.