During their Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis’ exited the game during the fourth quarter and did not return after he took an elbow to the head from Kevon Looney.
Speaking about the incident on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday morning, Stephen A. Smith made light of Davis’ injury and cast doubt on whether or not it was a concussion.
“Was he running over the middle and got hit by Ronnie Lott or something? Did I miss something? Is Ray Lewis in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform? Did he get by Aaron Donald? I hope he’s okay. No one is saying a concussion isn’t serious. We’re saying we found it hard to believe a concussion actually happened on that play,” Smith bloviated.
It’s wild that this is the conversation on a national talk show in 2023 the day after a player looks like they may have been knocked out of a playoff game due to a concussion. pic.twitter.com/SCrMDthGpz
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 11, 2023
Naturally, given how much the sports world has learned about concussions over the last decade, Smith got dragged for his take, which was entirely unfounded considering there is no telling whether someone got a concussion simply by looking at a replay, especially if they aren’t a doctor, and that the intensity of a hit is not the only indicator when it comes to suffering a concussion.
This is exactly they fans are thirsting for alternative basketball coverage. I might have to cook. https://t.co/Ta6IpcLrbc
— The Pettiest Laker Fan 🤫 (@ThePettiestLA) May 11, 2023
Fucking pathetic https://t.co/VOf10Liist
— Sean “Spaces” Davis (@Sean_Davi) May 11, 2023
Is that Jay fucking Williams of all people making fun of injuries lmfaoo https://t.co/r5Mdr0ohev
— Playoff RB (@RyB_311) May 11, 2023
I love how we are acting like Kevon Looney didn't swing his elbow and hit Anthony Davis in the temple. Also love how we are making fun of a potential brain injury on National TV. What a joke man. https://t.co/s5hJArLjYW
— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) May 11, 2023
In fact, actual doctors (or at least so they claim), in particular, seemed to take issue with the comments of Smith and Jay Williams.
Shame on you @stephenasmith. This kind of 2005 talk sends a terrible message to young athletes. You know better.
It doesn't have to look catastrophic to cause #concussion. And asking 6'10" guys who are dizzy and can't see straight to walk to the locker room is bad medical care. https://t.co/3ehVpaKUmi
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) May 11, 2023
I must have woken up in 1950 because otherwise I can’t believe we have TV commentators laughing and acting like there’s no possible way to get a concussion unless you get hit by a truck https://t.co/56wq8Qf6Gr
— Brian Sutterer MD (@BrianSuttererMD) May 11, 2023
This is the type of stuff that normalizes not taking head injuries seriously. Stephen A has zero clue as to what level or location of force could result in a concussion (aka mild traumatic brain injury). Credit to Windhorst & Molly, wanted no part of that nonsense. https://t.co/vIJpliWFjt
— Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT (@3cbPerformance) May 11, 2023
The ignorance on display here is precisely why the CLF Media Project exists.@stephenasmith should join the 150+ sports media pros who've completed our Concussion Reporting Certification. https://t.co/h1Vi8e2gu8 https://t.co/l7M2fYBc1a
— Concussion Legacy Foundation (@ConcussionLF) May 11, 2023
NBA fans weren’t going to let Jay Willams slide, either, as the former Duke Blue Devil essentially ended his NBA career due to a motorcycle accident back in 2003, just about a year into his NBA career.
i know jay williams ass ain’t laughing https://t.co/IRemj6kbic pic.twitter.com/SOEY4fcJG5
— • (@washedtae) May 11, 2023
Jay Williams btw https://t.co/YorIdS86bN pic.twitter.com/5gQVqxxnyV
— abdi (@a1bdii) May 11, 2023
Bitch boy couldn’t keep his tricycle steady and almost died for it https://t.co/ozn0kBFOeU
— sy (@fwsymere_) May 11, 2023
Jay Williams btw https://t.co/pbExC8gGst pic.twitter.com/jBxamHuvgI
— Mo🔱 (@Moh39i) May 11, 2023
It should also be mentioned — as many people have pointed out on Twitter — that Brian Windhorst didn’t devolve to Smith and Williams’ level and kept it professional, so shout out to Windy.
Despite the Game 5 injury on Wednesday, reports indicate that Davis is expected to be good-to-go for the pivotal Game 6 on Friday in Los Angeles, which could see the Los Angeles Lakers close out the Golden State Warriors and advance to the Western Conference Finals.