PORTLAND, Ore. -- Headaches and dizzyness are now a part of Chris Kaman's life after the Dallas Mavericks' center took a nasty spill during Monday's practice at American Airlines Center.
Kaman suffered a concussion during a collision with some teammates and is sidelined indefnitely. In reviewing how he was injured, Kaman said:
"I just got undercut in practice and landed on my head. It was a weird play. (Jae) Crowder drove down the middle, Elton (Brand) tried to take a charge and Elton slid to his left and took my leg out.
"I tried to block it and I was three feet in the air on my side and didn't know where to go. Obviously it all happened real fast.''
So fast that Kaman hardly had time to break his fall.
"I landed on my head from about three feet in the air, and it hurt and I was dizzy a little bit,'' Kaman said. "And then my vision was a little blurry for a little bit, then it slowly went away.
"And today I've been having a headache for the last two days, and my neck is killing me.''
By strict guidelines in the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, Kaman has to pass a battery of tests before he's permitted to play again. It's for his own protection.
"They just want me to take it easy and make sure that everything's good,'' Kaman said. "I guess it's not the first (concussion) they're worried about, it's the next one.
"I had the test (Tuesday) and everything and I didn't pass that test. I'll try again (Wednesday) and see how that goes -- just take it day by day.''
Kaman averages 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.The Mavs sure could have used his services Tuesday when they lost to Portland, 106-104, on an 18-foot jumper by LaMarcus Aldridge at the buzzer.
“He’ll be back when his symptoms abate and we don’t know a timetable for it,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said of Kaman. “I don’t think it’s that serious, but these things, you’ve got to be very careful with.
“But this is a hit for us. Chris has played very well for us this year.’’
Kaman didn't fare well Tuesday on the concussion test, which is why he didn't play against the Trail Blazers.
"They do a baseline test at the beginning of the year and they take it again to see where you're at,'' Kaman said. "I was a lot worst than what I did at the beginning of the year, so they failed me.''
Kaman failed the test because all his vitals signs weren't where they were supposed to be. He's having some issues that could force him to miss all four games on this road trip.
"I feel a litle foggy and a little groggy,'' Kaman said. "My neck and head are sore a little bit."I had to do some things to try to talk them into (playing Tuesday), but it just wasn't working. There's new rules, I guess, with the CBA, and everything with the concussion stuff is kind of weird, but, whatever.''
Kaman isn't sure if he's ever had a concussion before.
"Maybe, but they didn't really test for it before,'' he said. "Normally, I would have just played, but they wouldn't really let me.
"I'd rather not risk getting hit again and put myself in a worst position than I'm already in.''
Now in his first season with the Mavs, Kaman understands why precautionary steps are being taken before he's allowed to play again.
"They're not just going to let me go out on the floor and play,'' Kaman said. "They're going to have to pass the test, go through their screen test and systemically based upon on how I feel each day, hopefully I'll get better and better starting (Wednesday) and be able to move forward and hopefully get back on the court sooner than later.''
-- Dwain Price
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