It was the scariest moment of the last season.
Marquis Daniels caught the ball about 10-feet out on the right wing, faced up on Gilbert Arenas and tried a little step through move. Daniel’s head hit Arenas’ arm.
And Daniels just collapsed to the floor, face down unable to move. It was instantly clear something was very wrong and the Boston Garden fell into an eerie hushed silence.
Through it all Daniels heard one voice, he told Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com.
“I just remember I kept hearing Kevin [Garnett] telling me, ‘You’re gonna be alright. You’re gonna be alright,’” Daniels told CSNNE.com in a telephone interview. “I was like, ‘I can‘t move.’ He said, ’What do you mean?’ He kept telling me I was gonna be alright. I think that helped me out a lot, just hearing his voice telling me I was going to be alright. I stayed calm, I didn’t panic.
“It was a trying time for me. I didn’t take anything for granted. I was going to take everything seriously from now on.”
We learned later Daniels had spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column. He had to have surgery to repair that condition before he could return to the NBA, but he is moving along that path. He is recovering and whenever we have an NBA season again he will be ready. And he will be an unrestricted free agent with several suitors.
“I definitely would like to be anywhere where a team wants me,” he said. “I’m keeping my options open. I still root for the guys on the Celtics. It’s a great organization. I talk to Paul (Pierce) and Kevin and (Rajon) Rondo and all those guys. So I’d be open to coming back there as well.”
We could all use a little good news in the midst of the NBA lockout stupidity.
The last time we saw Marquis Daniels, the backup wingman for the Celtics was face down on the floor. His head collided with Gilbert Arenas’ arm, bruising Daniel’s spinal cord and exacerbating a long-standing spinal condition. He was temporarily paralyzed. He needed surgery.
But things are looking much better, Chris Forsberg reports at ESPN Boston.
A little less than six months after a scary on-court incident threatened his basketball career, former Celtics swingman Marquis has resumed workouts with the goal of returning to the NBA next season, according to his agent.
The question is where. (And when, but we’re not talking lockout for one story even if the added time off could benefit Daniels.) He liked Boston and it’s not out of the question he could return to the Celtics, although if they bring back Jeff Green (as expected, Boston can match any offer for him and to let him go is to have traded Kendrick Perkins for nothing) it would be redundant to bring in Daniels as well.
But just to see him back on an NBA court somewhere, anywhere would be good to see. The last image I want of Daniels is not the one I’m left with.
Marquis Daniels collapse to the floor when the Celtics were playing the Magic — on a relatively harmless looking play — was one of the scarier moments of the season.
But it was part of an ongoing medical issue Daniels faced — because of his spinal cord when he would get his neck bent certain ways he would go numb. (The collapse happened when he tried to sweep through Gilbert Arenas and his neck got bent.)
Next week Daniels will have surgery on his bruised spinal cord to hopefully relieve that pressure, his agent told the Boston Globe.
“The hope is that it will relieve the episodes that he’s having, going numb when he gets hit,” (agent Mark) Bartelstein said. “He’s in good spirits now that the surgery’s set.”
Daniels was traded to the Kings at the deadline for a future second round pick. The goal is for him to return to the court next season (whenever that starts).
Marquis Daniels frightening collapse Sunday turns out to be about a bruised spinal column that is going to keep him out a month at least maybe more.
To fill in his spot on the roster, the Celtics will recall Avery Bradley from the Maine Red Claws of the D-League, according to a tweet from Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
Daniels had been getting solid minutes off the bench — at least 12-13 and regularly more than 20 — and it will be interesting to see how much time Bradley gets. Certainly he will get fewer minutes, but he may well get a chance to prove he learned some things down in the D-League.
UPDATE #2 9:36 pm: Celtics team physician, Dr. Brian McKeon, said after the game that the team (and Daniels’ previous teams) were aware of spinal issues and that this was a more severe reaction of things that had happened before.
UPDATE 5:23 pm: Marquis Daniels has a bruised spinal cord, Danny Ainge and the team doctor told the media after the game. He will spend the night in the hospital and have a CAT scan Monday.
He is out indefinitely and that likely will mean a month or more, officials said. He did not sustain a concussion on the play.
3:27 pm: Boston’s Marquis Daniels collapsed on the court in a game against the Magic and had to be taken off on a stretcher Sunday afternoon.
He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for “evaluation of a neck injury.” He was conscious and talking and did give a thumbs up leaving the court.
Just a minute into the second quarter, Daniels was trying to post up Gilbert Arenas on the right block, got the ball, faced up and went with a sweep move to the right. His face collided with Arena’s arm and snapped to the right. It didn’t appear that violent a contact, but Daniels immediately collapsed to the floor.
He did not move but his eyes were open and he appeared conscious.
He was taken off the floor on a stretcher and was on his way to the hospital minutes later.