CLEVELAND - Rodney Stuckey was walking over to give rookie Jonas Jerebko some advice Friday night when he started feeling dizzy and sat down.
Shortly after he asked for some water, he slumped unconscious into the arms of Pistons trainer Arnie Kander.
Stuckey was to remain overnight at the Cleveland Clinic after collapsing and being taken from the arena by ambulance during the third quarter of Cleveland’s 99-92 win over the Pistons.“He is stable and that is good news,” Pistons coach John Kuester said. “I think he is going to be OK.”
LeBron James had 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers rallied from a 21-point deficit in the first half, but the game was overshadowed by the scary scene in the third quarter.
Pistons teammate Tayshaun Prince sat silent in his chair a few feet away with his head down, and the Cavaliers huddled together near their bench also with their heads bowed as Stuckey was being treated.
Both teams huddled again at midcourt following the game and prayed. Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry met Kuester as the Pistons left the floor after the game. The two walked to Detroit’s locker room with their arms around each other. Kuester spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach in Cleveland.
“He came over and told Arnie he was feeling dizzy,” Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva said. “He drank some water and the next thing you know, he passed out. It’s very scary. One minute, you think everything is OK, then the next second, it turns around so quick."
The players were walking off the floor for a timeout with 2:30 left in the third quarter when Kuester got off the bench to meet them. He was going to say something to Jerebko when Stuckey stepped in.
“I loved that he took the initiative,” Kuester said. “As I was meeting with the coaches, all of a sudden I saw him leaning over with Arnie and before I knew it, he was on the ground.”
Stuckey, a second-year guard from Eastern Washington, had eight points and 10 assists before collapsing. He missed two games in 2008 with dizziness. It wasn’t immediately known if the incidents were related.
Kuester was shaken by the scene because of his past involvement in similar situations.
“It’s not pleasant to talk about,” Kuester said. “All that matters is he’s going to be OK.”