Cat Barber hasn’t had much luck over the last couple of months. A minor injury cut short his time at the NBA Draft combine, and a concussion he suffered in Las Vegas last week has prevented him from playing in any more games for the Pelicans’ summer league team.
That’s frustrating because, y’know, the NBA combine and NBA summer leagues can be pretty important for a kid trying to make a roster. This is the ridiculously unlikely accident that gave Barber a concussion on Wednesday:
Cat Barber catches a knee to the head from Okaro White. Had to leave game. https://t.co/dODt3eL1F3— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) July 13, 2016
Worse, this is not Cat’s first concussion—he suffered at least one during his career at NC State, and perhaps another at a camp during the offseason. Barber also suffered a potential head injury after running into an Amile Jefferson screen during the 2015 ACC tournament, though he did not miss any time during the NCAAs the following weekend.
Considering everything we’ve learned from research into head injuries over the last decade, this is an alarming setback for Cat. It’s not to say that his string of head injuries definitely will have long-term effects, just that it’s difficult not to worry.
Despite his tendency to get banged up, Barber rarely missed games in college, and this recent aberrant run of misfortune is not indicative of his durability. It will cost him regardless, though. He can’t get back those minutes in front of scouts, nor can he correct wrongheaded assumptions by sitting on the sideline.
That stinks. Let’s just hope that’s all Cat has to worry about.