Just got home from a pretty intense day at the Garden. Today's match-up with Orlando was physical, heated and emotional. Everyone from the fans to the players were hyped-up. Elbows were flying, bodies too, and the atmosphere definitely felt like playoff time. At one point, Quentin Richardson was jawing with fans directly behind the Magic bench. My friend Lisa saw him mouth the words: "I will f*** you up." TD Garden Security stepped-in, and there was a large officer stationed directly behind Q for the rest of the game.
Then something happened that seemed to completely freeze time. Marquis Daniels' head connected with Gilbert Arenas, and Daniels "just fell to the floor", as the girl in front of me described it. From where I was seated, I could only see Quis' legs. They were limp, and not moving at all. At that moment, the silence that came over the Garden was indescribable. It was as if the building was empty. A couple of drunk fans called out to Rick Fox who was walking by, and Fox motioned to them to be quiet. This was not good.
As minutes that seemed like hours went by, still no movement from Daniels. Then, a few of the C's knealt down in prayer. At that point, basketball did not matter. The score did not matter, the game did not matter. What mattered was whether or not Quis was ok. In the world of sports, we've all seen athletes suffer serious, life-threatening injuries when the head and/or neck is involved. Then, the stretcher popped-up off the ground, and medics began wheeling Quis out. We still did not know whether or not he was concious.
A couple minutes later, Lisa gave some comforting news. She had read on Twitter that Quis motioned to the crowd with a "thumbs-up." I felt a little better, but still very concerned. As the game went on, and we watched this fierce, tightknit group that is the 2010-11 Celtics pull away, news started coming in that Quis was ok.
I can't even begin to pretend what the feeling must've been like for Quis' family & close friends, but I'm glad that he is ok, despite the severity of his injury. But for those moments when he was laying motionless on the Garden floor, it reminded what really matters. I sometimes forgot that these players, these heroes of mine are one thing at the end of the day. Human.