SACRAMENTO -- Kings television play-by-play announcer and award-winning* radio host Grant Napear will add medical advice duties starting immediately, Kings president Geoff Petrie announced** Saturday.
After showing an impressive ability to diagnose injuries without any formal medical experience and without actually looking at potential injuries in any detail, Napear suggested to Kings management he may be able to determine whether players under contract should play or sit in future games.
"(For years) players have sat when they could've played. That bothers me," Napear told Sacramento Bee reporter Sam Amick.
Napear feels so bothered by the prospect that highly-paid professional athletes could actually be weak Nancy boys he publicly advised this week that Kings guard Kevin Martin might be soft. According to Amick, Napear took to the airwaves before Wednesday's game against the Hawks to state that if Martin, who at the time was considered questionable with an injured left wrist, did not play against Atlanta, it would be fair to call him soft and to question his toughness.
Martin played in the game, totaling 29 points and 11 rebounds. On Thursday, an MRI revealed a fractured navicular bone in Martin's wrist. He will undergo surgery to repair the fracture on Monday, and is expected to miss eight weeks.
In his role as medical advisor, Napear will be asked to make snap judgments without the benefit of medical examination, as he did Wednesday by accusing Martin of a lack of toughness and advising the guard to play without having any clue as to the severity of the injury. Napear also filled this role in an unofficial sense late last season, when on the radio he ripped Martin for failing to play in meaningless games for the worst team in the league due to a serious bone bruise in his ankle. Napear, without any medical background whatsoever and with no suggested inside information as to the nature of Martin's ankle injury, said repeatedly that Martin was weak for failing to play out the season.
In his interview with Amick, Napear continued to press this point.
"I don't change my stance on (his view of Martin's ankle injury) at all. If a player can play, I think they should play," Napear said.
Napear said Martin's current injury is different, that while Martin could theoretically play with the injury -- as he did Wednesday -- a broken bone is a "real" injury, as opposed to a deep bone bruise in the ankle, which is something you just "have to rub some dirt on and tough it out." As a part of his official duties with the team, Napear will be compiling a list of maladies which are eligible for treatment and which must be played through by Kings players. In a preliminary list, Napear lists "breaking your face" and "breaking your leg" as injuries eligible for rehab. Muscle strains and sprains, flu-like symptoms, bone bruises and in some cases death are not eligible for time off, because "someone without medical experience or an X-ray machine cannot necessarily see those injuries with his own eyes, so they might be faked," Napear said.
As per team policy, the details of Napear's contract were not released.
* Grant Napear won eight consecutive National Association for the Advancement of Gingers (NAAG) NBA Broadcaster of the Year awards from 1997-2005. Bill Walton actually won the popular vote in 2004, but Napear filed a successful appeal calling into question the Just for Men habits of the former Blazer superstar. Ric Bucher has won the award each year since 2006.
** Psych your mind, Frankenstein.***
*** I mean to say that this is satire.