Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey fell ill and may have passed out after he walked off the court for a timeout with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter of Friday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
Stuckey, 23, was taken from the bench on a stretcher and transported to the Cleveland Clinic, where he will remain overnight. Stuckey also suffered a dizzy spell last season in a game against the Boston Celtics.
During the fourth quarter, the Cavs announced that Stuckey was conscious and breathing on his own and his vital signs were stable.
The game was delayed 12 minutes for the medical emergency. After the Cavs' 99-92 victory, the two teams huddled at mid-court and prayed together, their arms draped around each other.
''Yesterday at practice ESPN's ''30 for 30'' about Hank Gathers was on,'' Cavs' star LeBron James said of Gathers, a senior at Loyola Marymount who died of sudden cardiac arrest at age 23. ''That was the first thing that came to my mind. I was hoping what wasn't the case.
''We are one family. When something happens to a player in our league, it affects all of us. It was kind of hard to go back to our bench in that instance.''
Pistons coach John Kuester, a former Cavs assistant, said as he was meeting with the coaches during the timeout, he saw Stuckey leaning over with Arnie Kander, the Pistons' strength and conditioning coach.
''Before I knew it, he was on the ground,'' Kuester said. ''I think he is going to be OK. The people at the Cleveland Clinic do a pretty good job.''
Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva said Stuckey passed out on the bench.
''He came over and told Arnie he was feeling a little dizzy,'' Villanueva said. ''He drank some water and the next thing you know, he passed out.''
Asked if Stuckey had been feeling ill the past few days, Villanueva said, ''No, no, this just came out of the blue. No bug, nothing.''
The Pistons led 67-61 at the time, but Cavs coach Mike Brown felt his team had already started its comeback. But Kuester said the Pistons ''wanted to rally for (Stuckey) and play with the same type of intensity that they basically did the entire night. I was very pleased with our effort.''
But the incident affected everyone.
''We tried to get it back as soon as he left,'' Villanueva said. ''But it's tough in that situation because you are definitely thinking about him. We definitely had him on our minds, so it was a tough game for us. I've never witnessed anything like that in my career. It's scary.''
Brown said, ''These guys are big-time athletes and you don't expect anything like that to happen to them because their bodies are like machines. Unfortunately things happen. All you can do is hope and pray for the best and leave it in God's hands and the doctors' hands. Hopefully he'll be OK.''
The Cavs' Antawn Jamison said of Stuckey, ''We compete against each other, but we're all friends. The most important thing is his health. He has a family, friends and he's a good guy as well. I just pray that he has a speedy recovery and that it's nothing serious.''
Of the post-game huddle, Jamison said, ''It shows you the camraderie that we have with one another even though we are on different teams.''