NBA considers standard for player physicals

Updated: October 20, 2005, 10:13 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The NBA is considering a league-wide standard for physical exams following the death of Atlanta Hawks center Jason Collier.

Individual team doctors from each of the NBA's 30 franchises currently determine the physical exams for their players.

"The medical protocols employed by our teams have traditionally been left to the best practices of team physicians," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said. "However, in light of recent events that have occurred not just in the NBA but in other sports as well, we think it is prudent to follow up with our teams to find out what the norms are across the league."

All players get physicals before training camp, and some teams use echocardiograms to detect heart problems. But not all teams use the tests and the league has no standard for physicals, USA Today reported Thursday.

The 28-year-old Collier died Saturday after he had difficulty breathing at home. His agent, Richard Howell, said Collier may have had an enlarged heart.

San Francisco 49ers lineman Thomas Herrion died of a heart attack Aug. 20 following a preseason game in Denver.

A number of NBA players have had heart-related problems, including New York Knicks forward Eddy Curry. The Knicks recently acquired the 22-year-old Curry from the Chicago Bulls, more than six months after he had an irregular heartbeat that caused him to miss the final 13 games of last season and the playoffs.

He was traded after refusing to take a DNA test to determine a possible genetic heart problem.

Minnesota guard Fred Hoiberg had open heart surgery in June and will miss the upcoming season. Houston forward Juwan Howard developed viral myocarditis, an infection of the heart, after getting the flu late last season, and required six months rest.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press