No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis was forced to skip Saturday's trip to his hometown. Davis suffered a concussion during Friday's win over Utah when he was inadvertently elbowed in the head by teammate Austin Rivers.
The Hornets were forced to abide by the NBA's concussion guidelines and coach Monty Williams expressed some unhappiness before facing the Bulls.
"He got touched up a little bit last night," Williams said. "I'm sure that happens a lot in basketball, it's just that now they treat everybody like they have on white gloves and pink drawers. It's getting old, but it's just the way the league is now."
Williams was asked if Davis was disappointed in not being able to visit Chicago. The 6-foot-10 forward grew up on the South Side and attended Perspectives Charter School.
"Obviously, he wants to play every game," Williams answered. "I'm sure he has a lot of people here that want to see him play. This city should be proud of who he is, not just as a player, but a person.
"I could tell that he was down that he couldn't come. It wasn't any fault of his own. He wanted to come. But the rules say you can't fly. Again, it's a man's game. We're treating these guys like they're five years old. He desperately wanted to come, but he couldn't make it."
Asked to clarify his thoughts on the NBA concussion policy, Williams softened up a little.
"I'm not saying I don't like it," he answered. "We've got to protect the players. But I think the players should have more sayso in how they feel.
"The NBA is doing what's necessary to protect the players, but this is not he NFL. You don't get it in the head that much. So I understand it, but as a coach, I'm a baby about it. I want my guys ready to play. That's basically the bottom line: I'm just a baby."
Rivers likes Rose:
New Orleans' other rookie, guard Austin Rivers, proclaimed Derrick Rose his favorite NBA player.
"Last year at Duke, I watched every Chicago game," Rivers said before the contest. "We got League Pass at Duke. So after practice, I would go back to the dorm and do homework or whatever, then I would drive back to campus just to watch him play. I'm dead serious, too. Just because I like the way he attacks."
Rivers didn't grow up here, like Anthony Davis. But his father, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is from Maywood.
"I have a ton of family here, so I'm looking forward to tonight," Rivers said. "I know (Davis) definitely was because this is his home, hometown. He'll be in the league for a very long time, so he'll have plenty of opportunities."
Davis a dream:
New Orleans coach Monty Williams talked about his early impressions of No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis.
"Conditioning and strength are going to be big for him," Williams said. "The stronger he gets, the less he has to think about being tired or not being as strong as the guys he's going against. Then I think we'll see more of his game, because he's not tired.
"He's a coach's dream, he really is. He does everything we tell him to do and then some."
And he's still got a competitive edge, which we love."