Anthony Mason “lucky to be alive”, may still require heart transplant

anthony-mason-lookingFormer NBA All-Star Anthony Mason, who has recently suffered a strong heart attack is feeling better, but still may be in need for a heart transplant, according to his agent, Don Cronson.

Don Cronson, the former sports agent who represented Mason among others, said he was told by family members the former Knicks bruiser had “two good nights the last two nights” as he struggles to overcome a “massive” congestive heart failure, NY Post reported.

“I’m in touch directly with family members,” said Cronson. “Things are a lot better — even though it’s still touch and go. Things today are a lot better than a few days ago.”

Mason underwent a fifth medical procedure – an operation Cronson described as minor — especially when compared to one operation that lasted nine hours. And Mason, though lucid at times according to Cronson, still has a hard fight ahead of him.

“From what I was told he might need a heart transplant,” Cronson said.

According to him, Mason was feeling subpar, experiencing tightness in his chest last week and “one of his buddies said, ‘You have to go in for a physical.’ ”

Then while he was undergoing tests, “the event happened,” said Cronson, who stressed that Mason’s proximity to emergency treatment facilities in the hospital itself likely saved his life.

“So he’s in the hospital, literally, when he had this massive [congestive heart failure],” said Cronson, who would not label the episode a heart attack based on what he was told by family members.

“They said if he was in the lobby as opposed to being on the third floor he would have died. That’s how close it was. He was closer to the facilities and treatment rooms and that time saved his life,” Cronson said.

“As I understand it. it’s still critical. It’s gone from extremely critical to critical,” Cronson said. “I was told it was minute to minute, than hour to hour and then day to day. I guess the word now is ‘stabilized.’ So far so good. He’s in better shape than he was.”

Mason has shown some signs of communicating, Cronson said, under the obvious careful eye of medical personnel.

“I know he has been communicating,” Cronson said. “He’s been under sedation. His son walked in the room and he got excited so they had to calm him down.

“From what I understand, when he’s awake he’s lucid.”

Mason played high school basketball in the New York City, attended the Tennessee State University, then basketball minor leagues, before coming into the NBA.

The 6-foot-7 defensive stalwart spent 13 seasons in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, NY Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks.

Mason won the Sixth Man of the Year for the 1994-95 Knicks, coached by Pat Riley. The 1993-94 team lost in the finals to the Houston Rockets.

Mason played in 882 NBA games (started in 559), for New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, NY Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. Mason averaged career high 16.2 ppg, 5.7 apg and 11.4 rpg for Hornets during the 1996-97 season. He was named NBA All-Star in 2001.

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