It was a scary moment when Rodney Stuckey collapsed in Cleveland two weeks ago, but for John Kuester, it truly hit close to home. He hinted as much to the media after that game but refused to elaborate. In today's Free Press, Vince Ellis connects the dots:
In September, 1982, Kuester was an assistant for a young Rick Pitino at Boston University, just under three miles from the Celtics' home arena. During a preseason workout, a senior point guard named Arturo Brown went down after contact with a teammate and was having trouble breathing.
Someone else started CPR, but Brown started convulsing and vomiting, forcing that person to stop. Kuester then tried to continue resuscitation efforts. But it was for naught and Brown, the 21-year-old team captain, was pronounced dead at the scene when medical personnel arrived. An autopsy later revealed that Brown died of a heart attack. His heart was twice the normal size because of scar tissue.
The second incident had more notoriety.
More than 10 years later, Kuester was the video guy with the Celtics and was taping Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against the Charlotte Hornets when budding Celtic superstar Reggie Lewis collapsed.
That was the first glimpse at the heart defect that would later claim Lewis' life on July 27, 1993, at the age of 27.
Kuester declined to talk at length about the two incidents after Monday morning's shootaround at the Garden, except to say it was hard for him to talk about Brown and Lewis.
Stuckey, who's been cleared by doctors and can resume practicing as soon as he feels up to it, may practice Thursday and play Friday when the Pistons travel to Indiana. But if he chooses to take another week off, I don't think he'll hear any complaints from the coaching staff.