. At issue was concern for his reputation and the financial interests of his family and the team, the newspaper said. This years event sponsor is Philips Healthcare, based in Andover, Mass. Meanwhile, the Journal reported, the Celtics' chief operating officer at the time, David R. Gavitt, was telling doctors that NBA rules prevented them from forcing Mr. Lewis to submit to drug testing. .component--type-recirculation .item:nth-child(5) { Would he shake you with that explosive first step and attack the rim, or would he suddenly pull up after one devastating dribble and hoist his trademark praying mantis jumper? He was 27. For other uses, see, Reggie Lewis portrait from the Celtics yearbook, America East Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, List of basketball players who died during their careers, "Fallen Celtic: Remembering Reggie Lewis", "The Reggie Lewis Aftermath Boston Mourns, Puzzles And Opines Over Celtics Star's Death", "Celtics sign PJ Dozier to a two-way contract", "With Len Bias-Reggie Lewis Duo, Boston Celtics Could Have Owned 1990s", "Every retired number for the Celtics and who wore it", "To those who knew Reggie Lewis best, fond memories are always front and center", "Officer Defends Arrest of Harvard Professor", "Young athletes urged to get screened for heart trouble", "Report: Doctors Suspected That Cocaine Killed Celtics' Lewis", "Cocaine claim could spur insurance probe", "Deadly Silence: How the Inner Circles, Of Medicine and Sports, Failed a Stricken Star", "Doctors: Drugs Did Not Kill Reggie Lewis", "At Face Value, Board Makes Celtics Pay For Their Success", "Bosh, Heat part ways over year after last game", Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Reggie_Lewis&oldid=1144474244, National Basketball Association All-Stars, National Basketball Association players with retired numbers, Northeastern Huskies men's basketball players, 20th-century African-American sportspeople, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, Career statistics and player information from, This page was last edited on 13 March 2023, at 23:36. "I think we'll never know. "The adenovirus 2 finding was wildly improbable," said Dr. Jeffrey Isner, the sole cardiologist who consulted on the autopsy. "He kept you off balance all the time. When someone with his talent does that to you, you can live with it., We lost All-Star Reggie Lewis 29 years ago today. "I don't give a damn what people say. But as he was running down the left side of the parquet, he inexplicably stumbled, then fell. They shared an agent, bought their houses at the same time, picked out new BMWs just days apart. "Reggie was hard to stop," Bird said. Dr. Baughman said a diagnosis of cocaine use could not be made unless there was evidence of specific cocaine-induced damage to the heart -- caused by spasms in the arteries -- and evidence the person was using cocaine. The cause of the former Dunbar High School star's first fainting spell and his eventual death was the subject of public medical debate from the beginning. "Reggie was a model citizen and an intelligent and wise man. Derrick Lewis, no relation to Reggie Lewis but a former teammate at Dunbar and Northeastern, said the late player had nothing to do with drugs. "But it just burns in the back of people's minds, when a black athlete dies, they don't believe that it is not either guns or drugs. "Every time I thought I had him beat, he'd recover and get up on me. #inline-recirc-item--id-b3f182ca-8c88-11e2-b06b-024c619f5c3d, #right-rail-recirc-item--id-b3f182ca-8c88-11e2-b06b-024c619f5c3d { He stumbled to his feet and was dazed and confused. A drug scandal - especially coming after the death of Len Bias of a cocaine overdose in 1986, a day after being drafted by the Celtics - would be potentially damaging to the NBA and the Celtics. Though his cause of death was later determined to be cardiac arrhythmia, at the time of his death, there was speculation that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs. The Baltimore native was cut from his public high school team, rescued by famed Dunbar coach Bob Wade, but then asked to be a high school sixth man. Kessler's office said today that he was not available for comment. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19 and subscribe to our YouTube channel. How much better could he have been? Lewis denied using drugs. }, First published on December 29, 1998 / 10:15 PM. Our goal is to make this not only an annual program in Maryland, but to serve as a model for other programs to start across the country, state by state, city by city, if necessary, Abraham says, noting that other countries, such as Italy and Japan, have since the early 1980s run regular school programs to screen teenage athletes and non-athletes for possible heart problems. On a warm July afternoon in 1993, Reggie Lewis went with a friend to Brandeis University to shoot baskets. He spent a lot of time improving his game. . Lewis is buried in an unmarked grave in Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Mr. Lewis' doctors immediately began to question him about drug use after the fainting incident. Thats because they understood who I was up against. "A lot of people just knew Reggie as a basketball player, but the guys on the team knew him off the court," he said. The other 5 are NBA legends: Barkley, Drexler, Jordan, Karl Malone & Mullin pic.twitter.com/1RbXJGIuDp. "Oh, I remember it well," Jordan laughed. He blocked four of Jordans shots, shocking His Airness in the process. At a Boston news conference yesterday, the team's majority stockholder, Paul Gaston, criticized the Journal for suggesting in the Page 1 article that the team sought, for financial reasons, to cover up suspicions that drug use lay behind Mr. Lewis' illness, thereby undermining his care. The 24-year-old daughter of former Celtics great Reggie Lewis never met her father, born a few months after his tragic and untimely death 25 years ago. Haarhuis defeated Jaime Yzaga, 6-3, 6-3. . By Dan Shaughnessy Globe Staff,July 28, 2013, 12:00 a.m. 11. In Game 3, with Bird unable to play because of back woes, he torched the Cavs for 36 points and seven assists. If anything was being covered up, it was the fact he had a heart condition. B/W PHOTO: [excerpt of story printed in The Wall Street Journal]COLOR PHOTO:EVAN RICHMAN/THE BOSTON GLOBEAfter the Lewises left Baptist (top), Mudge gave Reggie an optimistic prognosis, but two months after he and the doctor hugged, Reggie died in the gym (opposite) of causes that the death certificate (far right) may or may not have pinpointed. The more we can educate young adults about the risk of sudden cardiac death, he says the more we can prevent young athletes from dying unnecessarily.. Indeed, Lewis had fainted during a game a few months before, prompting a much-publicized debate on his heart health and foreshadowing his death. "This was not subtle.". When you have the skills to break someone down on defense and you can't, it makes you tentative offensively.". "And Reggie was the same way. display: block; He made his way back onto the court later in the game but quickly came back to the bench after experiencing dizziness. He also assured doctors, from his own experience with Mr. Lewis, that he was not a drug user. How Palm Springs ran out Black and Latino families to build a fantasy for rich, white people, 17 SoCal hiking trails that are blooming with wildflowers (but probably not for long! Mudge's lawyer declined to comment to the Herald on the case. "That's because they understood who I was up against. The diagnosis was that Lewis suffered from focal cardiomyopathy, a condition of the heart muscle that could cause heart failure. "It's something that people don't like to bring up," Mr. Gaston said. On July 27, 1993, during off-season practice at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, Lewis suffered sudden cardiac death on the basketball court at the age of 27 years old. What is evident: The official cause of death, a heart damaged by a common-cold virus, is a medically nonsensical finding by a coroner who was under intense pressure from the Lewis family to exclude any implication of drug use. "The question of drug use is not new," said John A. Curry, president of Northeastern University, alma mater of Mr. Lewis and Ms. Harris-Lewis. * The Celtics at the time were deeply in debt and in the midst of negotiations to sell a television station. Chang will face Paul Haarhuis, who has never won a singles title, in the final. But it has agreed to a compromise that would provide the information with the proviso certain information be kept confidential. They are shameful and disgusting. He reached forward to stretch his legs. The following day, the Celtics gathered a dozen heart specialists through New England Baptist Hospital, a dream team of doctors, according to The Boston Globe. He also told him that "cocaine is the only thing that would explain what we are seeing." By the time he died, he was one of six players who, from 1988-93, posted at least 7,500 points, 1,500 rebounds, 1,000 assists and 500 steals. Discover what's to love about Charm City for yourself. If there had been better understanding and appreciation for the risks involved with these heart abnormalities, Abraham says, it may have saved the life of Lewis, whos death was likely triggered by an overly enlarged and thickened heart. As ESPN reports, on July 27, 1993, Lewis collapsed on the basketball court during a practice at Brandeis University, just outside Boston.The All-Star was pronounced dead two hours later. "We felt it was our duty to abide by our pledge of confidentiality," Janet Hookailo, the spokeswoman, said Tuesday. If you know that somebodyused cocaine, you might think that caused it, but they might have heart damage for another reason," Dr. Gottlieb said. This need became more urgent after Len Bias, the 2nd overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft, died of a cocaine overdose.[5]. Reginald C. Lewis (November 21, 1965 - July 27, 1993) was an American professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association 's Boston Celtics from 1987 to 1993. Mr. Gavitt told Mr. Lewis' doctors that the ailing star "couldn't be forced into it." A $15 million insurance policy on his contract would not pay off if his disability was linked to drugs. Lewis attended Northeastern University in Boston. Mr. Lewis died from a cerebral hemorrhage related to the cancer, his company said. [13][14][15] The Wall Street Journal reported that physicians "suspected that cocaine killed Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewisbut they were thwarted by actions by his family and a 'dismissive' policy toward drugs by the NBA." "This was something any third-year resident could have seen," said Dr. Charles Munn, the hospital's staff radiologist. display: none; Such scarring also might be caused by poison, medications, alcohol or infection. Most players weren't athletic enough to literally "hang" with Jordan. Many cases go undiagnosed, Abraham adds, because the young athletes healthy appearance and peak physical condition may mask their underlying sickness. Lemieux punched Brett Lindros on Sunday while the New York Islander right wing was pinned against the boards. As many as 300 young athletes from 18 teams, ranging from 14 to 18 years of age, will be examined for HCM. [1] At the age of 27, Lewis died while still a member of the Celtics, and his number was posthumously retired by the team. By his second season, thanks in part to a new coach (and an injury to Bird), Lewis averaged over 30 minutes and scored 18.5 points per game. Because of Lewis' age and physical condition, Dr. Charles Munn, the hospital's staff radiologist, and Dr. Thomas Nessa, Baptist Hospital's cardiologist, considered cocaine as being involved. The Celtics selected Lewis with the 22nd overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. It wasn't until the second overtime that the old master, Bird, came to life and ripped off nine points to enable the Celtics to hang on for a 135-132 win. Just ask Michael Jordan. December 29, 1998 / 10:15 PM / AP. Lewis returned briefly to the game but was eventually pulled due to dizziness and shortness of breath. The team stood to lose millions of dollars if Mr. Lewis were unable to play basketball because of drug abuse. They knew Reggie Lewis was no slouch. Baltimore native Reggie Lewis was on his way to becoming an NBA legend when the young basketball star tragically collapsed on the court, leading to a death that shook the sports world. In older patients, dead tissue might indicate damage from arteriosclerosis, abnormal thickening and loss of elasticity of the walls of the arteries. Doctors tried to get answers. They even went out and bought life insurance policies together. On March 31, 1991, at the Boston Garden, Lewis gave Jordan a night he hasnt forgotten. "I lived with him for his first two years with the Celtics, and we went everywhere together. They knew Reggie Lewis was no slouch. But the information presented regarding Reggie Lewis is true, and we found a . Lewis' coach and a teammate said they knew nothing about the reported cocaine use. At the age of 27, Lewis died while still a member of the Celtics, and his number was posthumously retired by the team. The Celtics plan to retire Mr. Lewis' uniform number during halftime of a game on March 22, a ceremony the club says will go on as scheduled. To the naked eye, nothing betrays the macabre spot where Reggie Lewis, their team captain and gentle star, collapsed while shooting baskets on July 27, soon to be dead. The news of 27-year-old Reggie Lewis's fatal heart attack on Tuesday, July 27, hit the citizens of Boston and the basketball community as a whole like a blow to the solar plexussome kind of sudden pain that, in the . The extra adrenalin is like poison to the heart. 1998 The Associated Press. From 1988-1993, Lewis managed to block Michael Jordan four times in a single game and served as only the sixth player at the time to score 7,500 points, 1,500 rebounds, 1,000 assists, and 500 steals. Language links are at the top of the page across from the title. Reggie had no choice but to learn to wait on greatness. [citation needed], On March 22, 1995, the Boston Celtics retired Lewis' jersey. "Looking down, (Dr. Kessler) told the group there had been legal threats made by the Lewis family and that he was bound by Massachusetts law not to discuss the case," the Journal reported. They shouldn't bother. According to the Journal, the partnership found itself with a capital deficit of $28.1 million in the summer of 1993. Risk reduction strategies to prevent cardiac arrest include avoiding rigorous sports; taking drugs called beta-blockers that temper the heartbeat, preventing it from beating too fast; or implanting defibrillators that can shock the heart back into normal electrical rhythm. Test results will be reported to each athlete on site, along with recommended follow-ups if problems are detected. I firmly believe that this is certainly a part of this article.". The autopsy did not reveal evidence of cocaine, which would be difficult to detect after more than three days, and without other evidence of drug use it could not be listed as a cause of death, the doctors said. "When Reggie first came into the league," Bird told me, "he really didn't know how to play the game. In 2004, the International Olympic Committee recommended that all athletes be EKG-tested every two years for potential heart abnormalities. Explore our state-of-the-art patient care facilities in the Sheikh Zayed Tower. "There's simply no hard science, no evidence, linking adenovirus 2 and a myocarditis.". In Game 4, he topped that with 42 points, six assists and five steals.

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