A triumphant victory nearly turned into a tragedy right in front of the eyes of Jeff Foster.
Following the Pacers' 106-93 win over the Knicks at Madison Squarte Garden Sunday night-one that snapped a six-game Indiana losing streak-the longtime forward became aware of a situation with one of the icons with the franchise.
"When they were working on him, there are a lot of negative thoughts going through my head and everyone included," said Foster-who was notified that Bob "Slick" Leonard had suffered a heart attack on the media bus outside the Garden shortly after the contest.
The Pacers broadcaster and former coach who won three ABA titles with the franchise in the 1970s was treated at first by team trainers and then taken to a New York hospital. After receiving two stents, he was alert and talking and is expected to return to Indianapolis later in the week.
For Foster, who has known Leonard well since coming to the Pacers in 1999, it was still a major jolt to the system.
"Defintely one of the scariest moments I've had as an Indiana Pacer," said Foster of Leonard's heart attack. "Slick means so much to this city, got the Pacers here, won three championships, just a crucial part of this franchise.
"We're luck that he's doing well."
Feelings are the same for Roy Hibbert, who like Foster wasn't on the media bus near Leonard but was a witness to his being taken to the hospital.
"Slick's an important person for the organization and on a personal level and its very heart wrenching to see what was going on-on the bus," said Hibbert, who says he saw Leonard as he was being taken off the bus on a stretcher.
For head coach Frank Vogel, who has known Leonard since his arrival in Indianapolis in 2007, the news of the heart attack was equally hard to take.
"It was a very scary moment last night," said Vogel of Leonard's heart attack. "We happy he's doing well."
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