Usually the "This Day In Sports" I blog are about happy occasions, especially when it comes to the Celts. Maybe it's the massive comeback against the Nets in 2002, or the 2008 title, it's a chance for all of us to distract our brains for a little bit and watch something awesome.
Well today it's a different story with it being the 27 year anniversary of Reggie Lewis' tragic passing. In the event there are some younger stoolies who may not know who Reggie Lewis was, he was basically going to be the Celtics savior. He was the guy that was going to transition this franchise from the Larry Bird era, and right away you could see flashes of just how legit this dude was.
The need for Lewis became even more important after the tragic death of Len Bias in 1986 and he averaged over 20 points in his last two seasons, making the All Star team in 1991-92. In the 1993 playoffs against the Hornets he collapsed on the court and it was later discovered that he had focal cardiomyopathy which was supposed to be career ending. He got a second opinion and a different diagnosis so Lewis went back to playing.
Then in July 1993 while workingout at Brandeis University he suffered cardiac arrest and that was it. In 1995 the Celts retired his number and then the 90s era unfolded which we all know was the darkest period in franchise history.
So just how good was Reggie Lewis? In his six year career he had totals of
In the history of the NBA only 5 other players have produced more in their first six seasons. Here's that list
Seems like a decent list if you ask me.
One of the all time 'what ifs' in franchise history. Who knows what happens if Lewis is around during the 90s. I was too young at the time to really understand what was going on, but then once I became a functioning human and learned about Lewis I couldn't help but wonder what life would have been like while I watched the Celts maybe win 20 games a year.
If you have some additional time this afternoon do yourself a favor and go down a Reggie Lewis YouTube rabbit hole. I included a few vids in this blog but there's a ton more out there. You won't be disappointed.