The last time the Clippers were in the Ford Center, Cuttino Mobley scored 23 points and collected seven steals in a win over the Thunder.
Turns out it was the final game of his career.
Mobley was traded to the Knicks the next day. After any trade, players take physicals. The trade might have saved Mobley’s life.
Team physicians knew Mobley, 33, had been playing with an enlarged heart his entire career. An MRI, combined with further tests, revealed Mobley has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes the heart muscle to thicken.
"Doctors basically said to him, a medical team could be waiting on the sidelines, but you could be dead before you hit the ground,” said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy. "Those aren’t the kind of odds you take if you have any kind of sense. He has his son, little Cuttino. He just couldn’t take that risk.”
Teammate Marcus Camby has talked with Mobley several times since he announced last week he was retiring after 11 NBA seasons.
"I see it as a blessing,” Camby said. "If he had never gotten traded they might not have found out he has the same ailment that Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis had. Unfortunately, those guys passed away. (Mobley) is a competitor. He’s missing playing, but hopefully he can live a nice, long life. ”
Who knows what might have happened if Mobley hadn’t been traded.
"Getting an MRI basically saved my life,” Mobley was quoted as saying. "You have to thank the Knicks for this.
"You only have 15 minutes of fame. My minutes are up.”