King shows up for ceremony despite near stroke

This is what it meant to Bernard King to be at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, to be among other New York Knicks legends who were honored by the franchise in a halftime ceremony: After doctors told him he suffered, in his words, “a precursor to a stroke” on Saturday, King completed a battery of tests at an Atlanta-area hospital, was released Monday at 10 a.m. and came straight to New York.

“I wanted to be part of this, obviously,” King told Newsday as he wiped sweat beads from his face with a handkerchief as he spoke of his life-threatening ordeal.

“I feel part of the Knick family. I grew up in Brooklyn and had the opportunity to live my dream and watch guys like Walt Frazier and Willis Reed and Dave DeBusschere and Bill Bradley on those great teams. It’s certainly a joy to be a part of this.”

King’s stroke “precursor” occurred after he had walked a mile and a half, then sat down for 20 minutes before starting his journey back home. But he said he was able to walk only 10 steps at a time, then had to take a two-minute rest. He repeated that pattern the entire walk home.

“I finally got home and realized I was in trouble and called for an ambulance,” King told The New York Post.

King learned he has high blood pressure and is now on medication.

Three months ago, King fell down 17 stairs and cracked his head open. It may have been an earlier manifestation of the same problem.

“I made it through that (fall). I probably shouldn’t have, but I did,” King told the New York Post. “And so I started getting the same symptoms again (this weekend) and really couldn’t walk or just basically collapsed and called an ambulance.”

King is rarely seen at the Garden anymore. He had a bitter departure in 1987, when then-GM Al Bianchi opted not to re-sign him after King suffered a major knee injury. King went on to regain his all-star status with the Washington Bullets. But in his heart, he always remained a Knick.

And to this day, he still wonders what might have been.

“(Patrick) Ewing and I have talked about that privately,” King recently told Newsday. “If we had the chance to play together, we would have won a title.”

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Comments » 12

bernardking writes:

Bernard King was arguably the best player EVER in the SEC and one of the best ever in the NBA. Virtually every one who played with King who are on the top 50 list think it is a sham Bernard isn't one of them. Back in the mid 80s, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Marques Johnson were all quoted as saying Bernard was the best player in the game.
His performance in the Eastern semifinal series against the Pistons is legendary. Easily one of the most difficult players to defend ever in the game. I find it hard to believe he never had a triple double at UT. He averaged over 25 points and 13 rebounds for his CAREER. Combined with those two stats, it is almost unheard of that he didnt' either have 10 assists in any one game

Take it easy, Bernard. We want you to live to 100

johnlg00 writes:

in response to bernardking:

Bernard King was arguably the best player EVER in the SEC and one of the best ever in the NBA. Virtually every one who played with King who are on the top 50 list think it is a sham Bernard isn't one of them. Back in the mid 80s, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Marques Johnson were all quoted as saying Bernard was the best player in the game.
His performance in the Eastern semifinal series against the Pistons is legendary. Easily one of the most difficult players to defend ever in the game. I find it hard to believe he never had a triple double at UT. He averaged over 25 points and 13 rebounds for his CAREER. Combined with those two stats, it is almost unheard of that he didnt' either have 10 assists in any one game

Take it easy, Bernard. We want you to live to 100

Despite all the defensive attention he got from every college team he faced, there WERE no better shots than those BK could get or make for himself, so why would he have ever passed it(;-P)?

miatatom writes:

Take care of yourself, Bernard. You're still the greatest in my opinion.

blitzshoot writes:

I remember , what I think was his first game as a freshman, he scored like 50+ points??
He was amazing and will be in my thoughts and prayers.
He was the most enjoyable Vol to watch play of all time.
Get well soon!

theoldbear writes:

BK was great, indeed the greatest! And my prayers are with him.

But the most exciting player ever in the SEC? In the top five. But Dominique Wilkins played at Georgia. Pete Maravich at LSU. So did Bob Pettit. And there was Bailey Howell at Mississippi State. Some people might put Johnny Neumann who had a brief career at Ole Miss on the list. And "the round mound of rebound", Charles Barkely from Auburn is hard to keep off that list.

BK is arguably the top professional player ever from UT, and worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame. And the greatest thing about him is his transformation in character and image. He was a thief, a thug, and as inarticulate as any player ever to pass through UT. And today he is as well-spoken, as respected, as honorable, as any former pro baller alive. God bless BK!

cjraney writes:

in response to theoldbear:

BK was great, indeed the greatest! And my prayers are with him.

But the most exciting player ever in the SEC? In the top five. But Dominique Wilkins played at Georgia. Pete Maravich at LSU. So did Bob Pettit. And there was Bailey Howell at Mississippi State. Some people might put Johnny Neumann who had a brief career at Ole Miss on the list. And "the round mound of rebound", Charles Barkely from Auburn is hard to keep off that list.

BK is arguably the top professional player ever from UT, and worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame. And the greatest thing about him is his transformation in character and image. He was a thief, a thug, and as inarticulate as any player ever to pass through UT. And today he is as well-spoken, as respected, as honorable, as any former pro baller alive. God bless BK!

That's the most positive post I've ever seen from the bear.

Get well Bernard.

Need_2_Know writes:

Bernard!

Man, take care of yourself. You have so much to share and so much to contribute. You made some missteps in life, but have overcome them to become a sports icon, at least in Knoxville and that city so nice they named it twice.

I doubt you read these posts but, on the off chance that you do, look how many people care about you and your life.

That is a gift, don't waste it.

BxVol writes:

"King of the Volunteers" Loved it when John Ward would say it.No question Bernard King is the greatest player in Tennesee Basketball history.New York Daily News readers just selected Bernard as the top small foward in Knick history.Bernard deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and eventually will be there.From Jordan to Bird, Magic and Dominque they all sang the praises of Bernard.As a fan I wish Bernard the best and good health.It`s great that we retired his number and that Bruce Pearl has reached out to Bernard and all the past Volunteers.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

"King of the Volunteers". Thank you Bernard and John Ward.

Like me, BK, cut back on some of those great fatty foods.

My doc said all I needed to do was trim back to a slim 235 from this current 251.

I'm not sure what food group Ding-Dongs are in.

BigOrangeJeff writes:

in response to Formerly_Kiff_World_Order:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Um... wouldn't that mean that the NY Post broke the story?

bernardking writes:

in response to theoldbear:

BK was great, indeed the greatest! And my prayers are with him.

But the most exciting player ever in the SEC? In the top five. But Dominique Wilkins played at Georgia. Pete Maravich at LSU. So did Bob Pettit. And there was Bailey Howell at Mississippi State. Some people might put Johnny Neumann who had a brief career at Ole Miss on the list. And "the round mound of rebound", Charles Barkely from Auburn is hard to keep off that list.

BK is arguably the top professional player ever from UT, and worthy of inclusion in the Hall of Fame. And the greatest thing about him is his transformation in character and image. He was a thief, a thug, and as inarticulate as any player ever to pass through UT. And today he is as well-spoken, as respected, as honorable, as any former pro baller alive. God bless BK!

I said "best", not exciting. Anyway, only Pistol Pete can be mentioned with him. The others you mentioned couldn't carry Bernard's jock, including Dominique. Dominique might have been one of the most "exciting".

bernardking writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, Dale Ellis then Grunfeld. Houston barely makes top five

King
Ellis
Grunfeld
Johnson
Houston

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