|Report: Mom of late Celtics star Reggie Lewis would be OK with team un-retiring No. 35 for Kevin Durant||06.28.16 at 7:49 pm ET|
Reggie Lewis passed away nearly 23 years ago, but the late Celtics star’s mom believes the team could honor his memory in an unexpected way — by giving his retired No. 35 to Kevin Durant.
That’s according to Kevin O’Connor of CSNNE, who got Lewis’ mom, Inez Ritch, on the phone recently.
“I don’t think it would take anything from Reggie because his number is still hanging up in the Garden,” she told O’Connor. “If I see Durant running up and down the court with the No. 35, I don’t know how my emotions would be until it happens.
“I don’t think I would be upset about it. I think it would be a good thing, because he is a very nice, humble young man. I don’t know a lot about him, but I know of some of the things he has achieved while wearing the No. 35.”
The similarities between the two players are obvious, O’Connor notes, with both Lewis and Durant lanky scorers who could shoot over the top or dunk at the rim. Lewis was just entering the prime of his career when he collapsed and died in July of 1993 at age 27 while shooting baskets at Brandeis.
Durant is an All-Star and former MVP who has the Celtics on his list of six teams that he’ll meet during free agency.
Add Lewis’s retired number to the list of enticements the Celtics could potentially offer to get him in green.
|18th anniversary of Reggie Lewis’ death||07.27.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
R.I.P. Reggie Lewis (Nov. 21, 1965 — July 27, 1993)
- Nov. 21, 1965: Born in Baltimore, Md.
- 1981-82: Led Dunbar High to consecutive undefeated seasons (60-0)
- 1983-87: Set Northeastern University scoring record (2,708 points)
- Nov. 6, 1987: Totaled four points in his Celtics debut
- June 22, 1987: Selected by Celtics in first round of NBA draft (22nd overall)
- Dec. 6, 1988: Scored 33 points in first game as a starter in a Celtics uniform
- March 31, 1991: Became only player to block Michael Jordan four times
- April 12, 1991: Netted a career-high 42 points against the Heat
- Feb. 9, 1992: Played in his only NBA All-Star Game
- March 24, 1993: Left game with dizziness but returned to score 22 points
- April 29, 1993: Collapsed on the Garden’s parquet floor during a playoff game
- May 2, 1993: Diagnosed with life-threatening cardiomyopathy by 12 renowned cardiologists
- May 10, 1993: Cleared to return to the NBA by Dr. Gilbert Mudge
- July 27, 1993: Died at Brandeis University from cardiac arrest at 27 years old
On Wednesday, SLAM interviewed Muggsy Bogues, who played with Lewis as well as fellow NBA talents David Wingate and Reggie Williams at Dunbar High in Baltimore, Md. (strange coincidence: Bogues and Wingate were playing for the Hornets when Lewis collapsed during that 1993 playoff game). Here’s what Bogues told SLAM:
|July 27: Remembering Reggie Lewis||07.27.09 at 9:18 am ET|
He was the quiet Celtic with a smile that was infectious. He was reserved and somewhat shy but his actions, both on and off the basketball court, spoke much louder than any words could ever do. He was the captain of the Boston Celtics and their leading scorer. He was a devoted husband, father and a friend to all who knew him well. He was the hope of a new Celtics generation. Reggie Lewis was only 27 years old when he died of a heart attack on Tuesday, July 27, 1993. We still tearfully remember him today, 16 years later. (via RedsArmy.com)
Lewis was drafted by the Celtics with the 22nd pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. Highlights of his six-year career included selection to the 1992 NBA All-Star team, leading the Celtics in minutes and points for three consecutive seasons (1991-93), and becoming the only player in team history to record 100 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocked shots in a season (1992). Lewis’ number, 35, was retired on March 22, 1995.
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