Rodney Stuckey: What He Means to the NBA

J.T. AxelrodContributor IMarch 5, 2010

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 02: Rodney Stucky #3 of the Detroit Pistonsbrings the ball upcourt against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 2, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pistons 92-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tonight, Rodney Stuckey suffered what TV analysts called a "violent seizure." During a TV timeout 2:30 into the third quarter, Stuckey fell into his strength and conditioning coach's hands.

First off, I want to say how very sorry I am for him and his family that this occurred. Best wishes to them.

This event made me realize something about the NBA—they don't care as much as they should about the well-being of their players. The league that is more of a victim to this is the NFL, but that's different because of the physical nature of the sport.

The NBA should be focused on getting the best players into the league and keeping them there.

When Eddy Curry was traded to the Knicks in 2005, it was mainly because he refused to take a DNA test to see if he had congenital heart disease. This trade should have never been necessary, because the NBA should have done a better job at assessing whether Curry had this condition when he was first brought into the league.

Even if they missed it when he first was drafted, the NBA should have forced Curry to take the test when his employer, the Chicago Bulls, asked him to.

My assumption about tonight is that Stuckey has some condition that he didn't know about, and he'll be treated and recover in a few weeks. If this is the case, then obviously the NBA is not accomplishing their job again.

Maybe he doesn't have a condition, maybe he was just physically drained and dehydrated. Either way, the NBA should be able to prevent events like this from happening.

If they really wanted to, they could do full physicals for players on a yearly basis. Not the team-run physicals that let injuries go to let a player join the team, but a real physical by an outside company. This would allow for the players to be truly have their health evaluated, and determine whether it is safe for them to play or not.

If the league won't do anything about this issue, the players will now focus on this themselves. Nobody wants to be the guy having to be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the game. Nobody wants that to happen to anybody.

Exactly 20 years and one day after Hank Gather's death during the WCC tournament, I know that I am not the only one who saw the eerie resemblance to that tragic day tonight.

UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski that Stuckey didn’t have a seizure, “He was lightheaded and couldn’t get his bearings, but he never lost consciousness,” one source said.

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