NBA

Giannis Antetokounmpo said he ‘probably blacked out’ after taking elbow to the head vs. Magic

The Milwaukee Bucks picked up yet another victory on Saturday night, winning 113-91 over the Orlando Magic to remain undefeated and improve their record to 6-0. It’s the team’s best start since the 1971-72 season, when they had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. 

Unfortunately for Bucks fans, while there’s much to celebrate with the win, there’s also plenty of cause for concern. That’s because of some scary comments after the game from their superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Early in the first quarter, Giannis caught an elbow to the head from Aaron Gordon. He remained in the game initially, then left to undergo tests in the training room. Despite missing the entirety of the third quarter, he returned to the court in the fourth. 

After the game, however, Giannis admitted that he “probably blacked out” after taking the elbow, and added “I don’t remember much after that.” Via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“I just got hit in the head,” Antetokounmpo said. “I tried to block the shot, I fell down. I don’t remember much after that, but I’ve got to be careful with that because I could have a concussion and stuff. 

“We did some tests in the second quarter and then I did some tests in the third quarter. It was just a hit in the head.”

Antetokounmpo went on to say that “I was probably blacked out. Because I don’t remember. I just remember the hit. But I’m fine. I tried to return, I’m a warrior.”

This is concerning, obviously, both for Giannis’ health, and because it draws into question the league’s concussion protocol and what the Bucks’ training staff was doing. Now, diagnosing concussions is notoriously difficult, because it often relies greatly on the athlete or patient being honest about their symptoms. There’s no way for the training staff to know that Giannis “probably blacked out” if he didn’t tell them and didn’t exhibit any physical symptoms. 

But even if that was the case — and again, we don’t know the details of Giannis’ examination — this is still a troubling thing to hear a player say happened to them. Hopefully this won’t turn into a long-term issue for Giannis, and he’ll be able to continue his stellar start to this season. 

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