Twenty years later, we still mourn, still remember and still wonder what could have been.
On July 27, 1993, just as he was entering the prime of his career, former Celtics forward Reggie Lewis was taken away far too soon. On a warm afternoon, he went to shoot some hoops with a friend on a court at Brandeis University. About an hour in, suddenly, he collapsed, struggling to breathe and gasping for air. Revival efforts were unsuccessful, and he was later pronounced dead. He was only 27 years old.
Lewis had the world at his fingertips. Only six seasons into his NBA career, he had already made a name for himself, amassing just short of 8,000 points. He became the first — and to this day, only — player in Celtics history to record 100 rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in a single season. He was named Celtics captain the season after Larry Bird retired and he was named an All-Star in 1992. All things considered, he was supposed to be the one to usher the Celtics into a new era of greatness.
The initial shock of his untimely death eventually subsided, but the pain still remains for many. Lewis proved so much during his six-year career in Boston, yet had so much more to accomplish. His No. 35 will live on forever in the Garden rafters, a testament to his undeniable talent, but just another reminder of what could have been.
Click the link below to read through a timeline of Lewis’ career.
Photo via Twitter/@berry_34