Stephen A. Smith, Shaq, Charles Barkley Shame And Laugh At Anthony Davis For Leaving Game 5 In Wheelchair After A Head Injury

The Lakers fell 121-106 to the Warriors in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal playoff series, but that wasn’t the main takeaway from the game. Lakers star forward Anthony Davis left the game midway through the fourth quarter with an apparent head injury after he caught an elbow to the temple from Warriors center Kevon Looney. He immediately grabbed his head and exited the game.

Anthony Davis leaving the floor after a Lakers home game this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Lakers fans and everyone watching thought the same thing when it happened: “Here we go again.” The concern about his availability for Game 6 raised even more questions when it was reported that he left the arena in a wheelchair. Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley seemingly were looking past those concerns as the two laughed on their postgame show “Inside the NBA” after the segment touched on Davis having to be carted off in a wheelchair for a head injury. Stephen A. Smith followed their laughs with jokes of his own the next morning on his daily morning ESPN show “First Take.”

Jokes Write Themselves

Barkley and O’Neal couldn’t contain themselves on Wednesday night as their co-host Kenny Smith discussed Davis’ injury. The two men continuously laughed as co-host Ernie Johnson urged them to tell the viewers what they were laughing at.

Barkley did his best to move past the topic by saying, “Ernie, we need to go to that next game quickly, man.”

Smith interjected, “Ernie don’t let us go there. Because if we go there it would never stop, never stop.”

O’Neal just continued laughing and repeating “I am laughing at Chuck.”

Barkley finished the segment by accusing Smith of doing a wheelchair motion as he was adjusting his chair.

Smith took the opportunity to make light of Davis’ injury situation as well.

“Concussion? I thought the NFL season was over. Now I understand that concussions can happen in other sports… But damn, I ain’t see nothing yesterday that made me say concussion,” said Smith on First Take.

He continued by saying he didn’t see “Ray Lewis or Ronnie Lott” hit Davis on the court last night. It was met with backlash by Twitter users. Smith just caught heat a week ago for suggesting that Kawhi Leonard should retire and the LA Clippers should move on from him because of his injury history.

“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,” tweeted sports YouTuber Jake Ellenbogen.

Another Twitter user wrote, “Insane!! Forearm/elbow to the temple from a 7footer is no joke. Any Boxer knows it’s not only where you get hit but it’s the shots you don’t see comin that can knock you out. Being disoriented & the way AD looked is concerning.”

Smith tweeted out a response that suggested he was being insensitive to Davis’ injury.

Davis Injury Update

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham gave an optimistic report about Davis status for game six on Friday after Wednesday night’s game.

“He took a shot to the head,” said Ham to reporters after game five. “He seems to be doing really good already. That’s where he’s at and the status of it right now.” 

He was not immediately diagnosed with a concussion and recent reports from TNT reporter Chris Haynes indicated that Davis will be available for Game 6 if he has no setbacks or doesn’t experience any new symptoms. Davis told Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and his agent Rich Paul that he felt “woozy” after the game. Now, the Lakers will turn to team doctors and the NBA concussion protocol to determine his status.

“A player diagnosed with a concussion should be regularly monitored for 24 hours for the evolution of symptoms, and accordingly the player may not begin the return-to-participation exertion process until 24 hours after the time of injury,” states the league’s concussion protocol.

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