WEEI>On Demand>>Celtics Summer Cooler: Remembering Reggie Lewis

Celtics Summer Cooler: Remembering Reggie Lewis

Jul 27, 2013|

Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell are joined by Torey Champagne, producer of CSN’s Remembering Reggie, to talk about the twentieth anniversary of Reggie Lewis’ death. Grande and Max also share their memories of the day the news broke of Lewis’ death.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

I did get carried away with the music sometimes. Some you know this is a great song from that from -- certain time period cult of personality others noticed CO punks entrance music. Slight different ways at different times mean different things to different people which is sort of when I think about when I'm retired about something historic because I remember when I was younger and I do a lot of stuff you know it in the business and I was younger and I always decree injured people would talk about. Things that happened X number of years ago because you feel like. Long time ago. Like I tell that together really well can I tell you one that you guys did in my first year with the Celtics. We're we were in Detroit our member very very well and you. And Tommy and Mike sort of having this long form excited discussion about a movie called dirty does. And all I could think about news. -- we said even in color with some old black and -- lead -- what have -- done what I signed on for -- would be hanging out with these guys the next it's been twelve years and -- And I realized you know you'd there's -- becomes an age thinks -- sometimes things don't resonate at a later -- by the way out of respect the guys that rent the movie and why should you be that your musical movie. Physical movie but sometimes things hit you in a certain place when anniversaries come off like today. So that a step back and say you know there's a lot of you I get a day. Reggie Lewis is sort of you know figment of people's imagination. And even if you're certainly Iceland bias is the same way but Reggie Lewis was different because. He had been a Celtic for several years. The -- knew he was. Almost in the -- mean there are. You also have a long history which is why I think Jeff Greene story is so difficult for a lot of people like you because you have this long tragic history involving. The Celtics and losing players and few years ago we lost Dennis Johnson and any change had an episode on the night before the playoffs in 2009 and anyone who's been around Celtics for a long time. You know that the Paul Pierce we see their tighten up Paul Pierce going hall of fame and his banner night -- -- amazing memories we've had. And will come up Paul Pierce's three inches away from having no members. Because of what almost happened in midnight club in Boston nearly fifteen years ago now. But twenty years ago today. I was working here I was just out of school. It was a -- of the Nvidia the men like do you remember a Boston radio legend that was producing a show that summer and one of the things you do you and -- so she's answering our phones today. And I've seen so many guys since I've come and gone that time I was on the side glass was truthful. You become skilled when he talked to thousands of people over the course of battery time on the phone you know who's full of it and who's not who's good caller who's not. And I happen to be one I was the guy with the kids who is who answered the phone this scale wasted thousands times earlier there was a guy on the other end -- the phone. Who was at the hospital. Idea that owners voice that immediately called my attention and he says listen and a lot of crazy calls and they get a lot of whenever. -- at the hospital right now Reggie Lewis is that. And you know eight. 99 times have a hundred you know the difference in the prank call one that is. And I talked of for a little bit I asked him a couple of questions and you know again I'm figuring our what am I gonna do -- on the -- I look at his son Latino David and amendments produce that's in gourmet TV show for a lot of years. He was he was with me was sort of help Afghanistan that summer. And be on the glass for a was to my left it was a guy about him and Jimmy Myers of the longtime Boston broadcasting. -- extraordinarily -- the tone for very long. And I knew that he was close to rich wife and two Reggie and to a lot of people at that time involved with the Celtics. And so in that moment but I just decides to do was tell. I have Davis said. Have Jimmy call down. His wife -- time I'd talked to a couple times the -- you as a if you isn't an interesting character very strong. Tough. Woman whoever -- talking to on the phone the -- Larry Burkett retired because we advocate Reggie on the air she at first people ever tell me not the last. One of the first -- retirement calmed down with ms. Harris Lewis because of my poll that they are ripper returns have been breaking story. So Jimmy comes in the room and I just say you may listen this is what his staff that you may award called. And so he is the one who called. Reggie White. And before he could tell her anything. In some of you know the story in the on the news -- received Wednesday. He started to trying talent that the information that we receive. And before she can do that. She -- -- him exit -- Tony I just came from the doctor compartment. Reggie never found out. Dead Don I was pregnant that day we did at the station because of the time -- -- was the unthinkable job -- Meyer's staff to tell her. The news we have received she should call -- if you should start making calls whenever. And that was that started an extremely long dance that was the first if you were caught story and it was obviously much more personal and tragic for something you think of the story that the station was poplar that's. It was a year and shuffled and -- listened to what will we are doing an outstanding on the wrong night. We had this. Extraordinarily difficult task of knowing what we do not really dot. Reporting it and not you can imagine this ever happening now -- you wouldn't -- know between Twitter and everything else stories wouldn't get out because his family the family had not been notified. And so we have to be on the -- doing talk show all night with with -- them in the aforementioned -- answering this. Knowing what we do it not being able to say no work my mom following right I don't know what would did you know these -- he has died. A few weeks later got that information that he died from the hospital would have from different that we would not reported. Because at that time you didn't do it along with how long did a lot a well many many hours it was it was well into the night. As a means like it seemed like that would have been me. A breaking story and it wasn't the way you did about them you know I remember the next day out. It matters don't really do news anymore but there was television station in town of gonna press release saying that they had broken stock. And you know for whatever that was worth it to me or is -- that part of this because it's I'm just of the belief that people who have stories five minutes of force somebody else. That's not breaking story these days somebody tweets of twelve seconds for somebody else that's not getting it first and it to me. Was something I learned very young -- it getting its first is that relevant again right is what matters but the point is it was a date to -- It was you know I was new I was relatively new Boston at that time but like you could feel -- seven years removed from Len Bias and that. You know Celtic fans are going through this horrible. Or deal again what we're you -- well actually in this really strange on you. Talk about I'd really don't remember it that much about it because I hit count them remove myself from basketball since I wasn't playing anymore. I think I do remember the limb by listening because obviously with close to the me. Would -- leaving the Celtics during that time but what I do remember about this story in my tie in was. In the -- who is the trainer right now for the Boston Celtics. Even to this day was to train their during that time for -- when -- was there. And I talked it in India about this and he said. I was home. -- I was making. That you say was right down the recipe. In the phone rang. And somebody called him instead. I'm here Brandeis. Raised teaches. Richard Lewis and he's right this down here -- Reggie Lewis to the Fed has just died he's that way. He said yeah I'm here right now if Brandeis Richard Lewis they're doing something with the department trying to revive him I don't think -- on the give him back. So the story in different ways -- different people -- resonated. In it at different times and and I think that was the the closest I've been to. When I heard the story about somebody who was personally tell -- telling me about the story just like me in this really weird. To be so close to history -- I was at the Boston Marathon and while the way from the first bombing site five minutes now with a bomb went off so I mean -- history is just really a funny kind of crazy thing. It was if you don't remember it it was a very complicated and involves story because it was an extraordinary tragedy. That affected people who knew him or whatever but it became a much bigger deal later because of doctors Reggie had collapsed in the opening game of the playoffs. I was I was -- Norway's statistician by the way that night and I know we got a phone call. And back in the old days you were used to be high above Johnny you say high above courtside it was a great location you could see the entire court he would hang weren't over. But you he had to get your information off by telephone and people -- Like great my exports running stats of eight flights of stairs and every time now but. We got a phone call after he just I remember it happened away from the ball and Glenn didn't know what happened and he asked me during the there was a commercial break or something and I said he just felt he just fell down and we later got a call. From downstairs saying that he had he literally the quote was he got his bell wrong implication being that just say that he got hit. In this scramble for a rebound which obviously wasn't what happened. It led to big issues with doctors fighting over it physician and in the Gilbert -- stepped in and you know -- sort of took over the case and said that this. Very respected group of cardiologists were wrong about his condition that he was OK to play that was fainting condition and obviously that put him at the spotlight after the death that became. A hugely dealers that element of it and there's a very big emotional element of it it's going to be examined tomorrow night. On Comcast somebody -- champagne has produced documentary and everybody's talking about he's gonna join us. Right now on line this is a figure how to push the button which are adjusted. -- when did the idea of doing this first and are you more atmosphere. Actually vote. Two years you're contest -- boat started to talk about it because we knew it was on the horizon with twentieth anniversary but it was really this past winter. -- -- Christmas I would decided. You know we really felt like we have an obligation game on the soap which broadcasts. To him and everything else that it will be critical obligated and honored to be able to people in the position to make this -- so. This past January -- started. In the pre production and and cameras start -- shortly after that. I'm a fan of documentaries I love them I love the work you don't have watched thirty for thirty's I'll watch anything because. I'm a fan of history and people most people the cinema broadcast they'll have an over involved since some times of history re trying to. Tally in in real time but I think as time goes by get a greater appreciation for you were very young when -- happened and I think we get older. And a moment in time some times it means different things to -- Later what what did you learn in putting this together that you as it as a young guy when it happened could possibly -- though. I think -- and I was I was fourteen years old Reggie passed away and I I grew up in central massive effort fiscal basketball or attempted to work. Of men you know I was a big -- so from my perspective. Fourteen. When he passed away and I think a lot of help fix the outspoken. -- you kind of forget you're the generation that kind of forget about about a card game after his. So that was really my motivation aren't on the console was a member because stop and remember all the wonderful things he did do. Or on the court and in the communities are apoplectic with the most is how much. Reggie was revered. Back and he's Baltimore and how much goes appeared there today and how much the look and there. And how much he was ingrained in the community care Roxbury Dorchester and well you know BP in the end and I think that's our connector overlooked so you know I think the fact that it's -- largest funeral in the history of the C of Boston -- Great volumes of how important it was for the community into -- ball over. He was not that. Number one overall draft panic chosen ones from the beginning. And given city Boston and how much. Young players and -- that I saw it with that group that Al Jefferson and don't want they -- -- group that people just sort of gravitated to and loved watching them. Develop as younger players. And Reggie story is one of that guy that just through sheer hard work he was in the top pick in the draft what he got himself in a position that. He the torch was passed -- him from Larry -- Yeah I mean I think. That's one of the great things about reduce the stories she was constantly and -- you know from high school do. You're going to northeastern where -- peace and wasn't really on the landscape -- as he put him there and campaign and -- being with six man and you know having overcome a lot about had three future NBA players and as well. And and coming to a team that was completely loaded and starts with the Boston celtics' approach early victory you know the original Big Three are so. I think that's really its sustenance. Group who Reggie was -- -- patient they need to overcome any kind of adversity will have a -- stability. That really speaks volumes for the type of man he was in the third person he was so there -- absolutely right there you altered at all. One of the things I see in this the special week we start think about players. And people who leave before their time. It's a -- think a big factor is age. When you when you die young like that and you see. What could have done what you could've done though what could have been done. I think that people for some reason. -- -- seemed like they they. There's their sense of awareness is that much more from Keener. And I say that because I thought they -- about Hank Gathers. When he passed away. Very similar you know situation. Playing basketball. You know haven't made a a in a heart attack on the floor in and dying. Play it was that same chemists element that seemed to. You know callow go with the Hank Gathers thing but I think the biggest thing about -- to me if I look at it. Is not just a tragic death. But the soap opera which surrounded Richie was bigger than anything we only thing Ackerman Mair remember here in the Boston area. Like that right now might be from the standpoint might be better than this story with the soap opera which is surrounding. In all of these things which Telekom together. Yeah I I think you're you know academic report -- it probably has been. As Reggie crafting that Amanda is probably the closest to approach huge mass media. Frenzy on this and Pakistan. You know it was a national news story when Reggie counselor bulk -- it was tragic -- that -- guardian paper. Yeah there's a lot of controversy in the a lot of confusion as part time surrounding about. What took place with the hospitals what took place are seen. Lot of finger pointing them and that's unfortunate because I think that's one of the report released a public dispute -- -- -- That's what people remember most and that's. That this should that's part of restored -- -- small structure or a really great guy so yeah absolutely but we don't actually like that it really just. But -- it happened has stuck with everybody or forty years. We are targeted -- Champaign news documentary on Reggie Lewis will air tomorrow night at 8 o'clock on Comcast sports net today is the twentieth anniversary. You became close to some of the Reggie Lewis scrambling during these. Filming of this and putting the story together and today. You've got a very instinct thing happening on the twentieth anniversary. Yeah. You know we start a project like -- you'd ever really. Maybe fully understand the emotional scope or you're about to enter into and it's -- me it's been really emotional because I've been able to get close to the people that work. Our -- is quite good particularly as you know has come back marked as well. Call me and I hope that the states you know honor our troops are. I'm actually being with them today. Earlier say Honda is greater. And be part of with family and you know is really moving is really emotional and and you know it's just it's a testament to them for coming all the way up from Boston welcome all mortem -- produce solid today and been missed some it's. It's been it's been it's been eye opening look at -- -- -- about in honor and privilege is that. For -- you held kind of befriended them and it's. The enemy -- and ask your question when you say that about rich he's trained side and I assume you're saying he's buried in Boston right in the Boston area. Yeah I'm a little surprised because did you not say he was from Baltimore. And I am a little surprised at the family did not take him back. To Baltimore. For you notes for them to be closer to his site then they would bury him in Boston. Yeah it was it's it's kind of controversial thing it's kind of a surprising thing to me because it's our. You know that's for the public to decide not. It's probably if you don't I was in the ball. -- honest I'm just ask the question that that's. Understand what you're saying about them to assess the question it in the almost most times when you think about it athlete. That they take him leave in some might if they take that person to home they take him home to where it was moment. Well I think I think that you know there's that one of the reasons -- there are some controversy. Richard passed -- the I think the difference there's a lot of dissension -- department and I think. There -- people who want it. -- Coca-Cola and and there are a lot of people -- -- -- very terrible and that's what happened you know if he -- -- are often part of this community so. I think. It's a Bermuda. To speak upon -- if you watch the film it's definitely trust the stolen the people are. -- -- -- Richie and for their definitely. Expressed or Felix. Has one that they want things -- said which was very interest and he talked about Obama. His wife. And EU detailed that she hit it strong presence and there is a love of thanks either way when you mention their name. About -- -- And you know you know that they love each other and she loved him. But there's still a lot of layers of stuff that pages that people point to her one way -- either wrong moral or right. In you know his passing and even his burial. Yeah I mean. You know to garnered you obviously very special relationship. And I think that a lot of people do a lot of contractors but once again I mean. It's for those things where you can never really know what goes on and Ameritrade you you're never gonna -- alone and in so. I don't I don't I don't know if there's anything that I can -- throughout but I will stay within that -- of the film you know this camera is that's going there and -- would -- present. Throughout those problems and in -- but it certificates tragic situation that. It really complicated. Into more and more complicated as the media and digging for answers and trying to -- anger people in -- -- themselves in the that's why it's an interesting story and report that tragic story is that it. Probably could have been avoided and some chances and you know it's just it's unfortunately we are is different. -- are here to defend self. So fascinating to me that the family is here is down as his mom seen his number at the garden. Hanging from the rafters. Yeah yeah yeah she got this yesterday and then. You know his brother in here as well and it's been. Has been really emotional and really moving to. Part of and it's it's really an honor for them. Have to come here they've been really appreciative and it's been a special days. And like I'm just I'm just glad that. You know we were able to be part of this column and we were able to make this -- home you know for that reason as he should be remembered all the campaigns should be remembered. When you are regarding her progress up there it was a great topic reprimand and others come here and their owners there's really -- Remember Reggie regular store tomorrow night 8 o'clock on Comcast sports net courtesy of -- champagne there was some kind enough on this on the state spending with -- Stanley to spent a little bit of it with us -- thanks for. -- -- -- and they were look forward to watching that tomorrow listen as I did I know it's hard saying no it's you know difficult things sort of he'll think back on but this is. When a day hits you like today -- a lot of people still even -- a Celtic fans years and years later just whenever July 27 comes up and usually not thinking about the MBA at that time. When July 27 comes of the kind of just you know. And -- -- seen action amounts NC it's difficult thing for the first I'm -- -- Formats he was to talk about it we have not done a great job getting your calls today we've covered a variety of things in what type of Reggie Lewis Horry all summer being retire would take your calls. In the next segment all leading up to. Our highlights from last five years the game we have selected today rush on -- those -- five. The Eastern Conference finals in 2012. All that still to come on Celtics -- --

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