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).