Rodney Stuckey was hospitalized on Friday night after collapsing on the bench during a timeout in the third quarter. The Pistons have indicated that he's conscious, breathing on his own and otherwise stable, but for several minutes before being carted off the court he appeared to have lost consciousness. ESPN's Heather Cox, the sideline reporter working the game, indicated that Stuckey may have also suffered a seizure.
Stuckey showed no signs of discomfort until immediately before collapsing, walking to the bench on his own accord and casually chatting with Jonas Jerebko as the game went to commercial. Upon coming back from commercial, ESPN's cameras showed Stuckey hunched over on the bench, being supported by Arnie Kander until being moved to the floor.
After being carted off the floor and taken to the nearby Cleveland Clinic via ambulance, Stuckey is reportedly doing well. What makes his situation especially scary, though, is the fact that Stuckey was involved in a somewhat similar situation early last season. I was working that game for FanHouse, and this is what I saw:
With seven seconds left in the half, the Pistons called a timeout, but after taking the in-bounds pass, Rodney Stuckey held onto the ball for a few seconds before giving it up to Rasheed Wallace, who missed badly with a 27-footer just before the buzzer. [...]
In hindsight, no, that probably wasn't the play that Michael Curry wanted, but Stuckey had good reason for not attempting to drive the lane: he was suddenly overcome with feeling dizzy and lightheaded. Moments after the halftime buzzer sounded, he dropped to his knees as he was walking off the court before being helped off by trainer Arnie Kander.
They got as far as the tunnel leading to the locker room before he leaned against the wall and eventually took a seat on a chair to gather himself. He eventually made his way all the way back to the trainer's room, where he stayed for the rest of the game.
At the time, his condition was attributed to a reaction to allergy medicine, although it was serious enough to prevent him from immediately joining the Pistons on a road trip out West. Stuckey missed two games before returning to action.
I should stress, at this point in time, it's completely unknown if the two incidents are related; some people react strongly to otherwise innocuous conditions as dehydration or the common cold, especially after strenuous physical activity. While I don't know if Stuckey was suffering from any case of illness, he certainly was exerting himself: he scored eight points with 10 assists in 25 minutes before leaving the game. The Pistons, who led by as many as 21 points on the night, were nursing a six-point lead when Stuckey went down. Not surprisingly, the Cavaliers rallied, taking advantage of a distracted and short-handed Pistons team to win 99-92.
But again, the final score is irrelevant: the story of the night is Rodney Stuckey, who may be in stable condition but undoubtedly will be subjected to a nerve-wracking weekend of tests to figure out what exactly his body was trying to tell him. Moments after the game ended, both teams joined at center court for a brief prayer; if it's your thing, saying one yourself on behalf of the 23-year-old point guard, teammate, son and father certainly wouldn't hurt.
Moving pictures from ESPN: