According to Bulls.com, Bulls team physician Brian Cole has been named the 2009 NBA Team Physician of the Year. The award is based on voting by the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA). Said John Paxson: “The Bulls organization is proud of our association with Dr. Brian Cole and this award recognizes what we have been keenly aware of the last five years. Brian is an outstanding doctor who cares about our players and works extremely hard to give them the best care possible. The entire Chicago Bulls organization congratulates Brian and thanks him for his dedication.”
Huh. Back in February, Drew Gooden was so concerned his groin pull/abdominal strain had been misdiagnosed that he sought the opinion of another specialist. Furthermore, it sure seems like sombody whiffed hard on identifying Luol Deng’s stress fracture. As Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune noted, that initial diagnosis — and the statement that accompanied it – basically made Luol look like a wimp and a quitter…only Deng was really (and seriously) injured. I mean, the Bulls told Deng to “challenge himself physically,” but then an independent orthopedic surgeon — someone with extensive knowledge of stress fractures of the lower leg — told him to actively avoid putting weight on his leg. And, of course, as we all know, Luol never played again last season.
And now Cole is the NBA Team Physician of the Year. Weird.