Sunday, June 13, 2010
Son's scare puts Finals in perspective
By Chris Forsberg ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- In the early hours of Saturday morning, as Ray Allen's young son, Walker, was set to be discharged from the hospital following a brief scare due to complications from his juvenile diabetes, the nurses wanted him to eat a Popsicle and offered a choice of colors: Red, blue, or purple.
"I told him, 'You can't have purple,'" Ray Allen noted with a smile after helping the Celtics defeat the purple-and-gold-clad Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals Sunday. "He said, 'I want green,' and I said, 'Yeah, he's in the spirit, he's ready for Sunday.'"
Ray Allen and son, Walker, after Boston won a title in 2008.
The Celtics excused the sleep-deprived Allen from practice Saturday afternoon, but he participated anyhow. With his son's condition stabilized after the overnight scare, Allen caught up on shuteye before Sunday's pivotal Game 5 at the TD Garden.
Allen, who revealed his son's hospitalization after Game 5, scored 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting with three rebounds, two assists, and a steal over 40-plus minutes. He missed four more 3-pointers and remains ice cold beyond the arc since setting an NBA Finals single-game record with eight trifectas in Game 2, but remains upbeat with his team boasting a 3-2 series advantage.
Saturday's episode with his son also put basketball in perspective.
"I'm sure you know my son was in the hospital [Saturday], he had a similar bout [as during the 2008 NBA Finals] and went hypoglycemic," explained Allen. "He had to be admitted to the hospital around 1:30 in the morning. It's something we have to deal with, my son having diabetes. You do everything you can, but his body, it wasn't operating correctly.
"As a family we try to figure out what we can do at home. But it got to be about 12:45 [a.m.]-1 o'clock, and he wouldn't fall asleep. And we couldn't let him fall asleep. His blood sugar was dipping into the 50's and 40's, when it's supposed to be above 90 and up into the 200s. As parents, you try not to panic, try not to get nerves. But I'm speeding. I was hoping the cops would pull me over, because I don't think I would have stopped. We got him situated, he's better now. Hopefully we can keep him where he is now."
Walker, who attended Sunday's Game 5, was the first person to greet Allen as he came off the court.
"He doesn't like missing games," said Allen. "Even if the kids stay home, he wants to be at the games. He wants to wear green, he wants his toes painted green."
Allen nearly missed Game 6 of the 2008 Finals after Walker was originally diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Allen rushed from Staples Center after a Game 5 loss to be with his son, then flew home in time to lead the Celtics to a lopsided win in the series-clinching Game 6 triumph.
This season, Allen missed a practice session in late November after his son needed to be hospitalized, but rejoined the team for the start of a road trip in Miami.
Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter.