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Woj: Nets assistant Jim Sann suffers heart attack at Nets practice, Tim Walsh helps save his life

Yahoo! Sports

Less than two weeks after Mirza Teletovic almost died from blood clots in his lungs, another member of the Nets family suffered a near-fatal heart attack at the team's practice facility.Sunday and in both cases, trainer Tim Walsh was the hero.

In a report Tuesday night, Adrian Wojnarowski detailed the story of Nets assistant coach Jim Sann, who suffered a heart attack at practice, and writes that without the help of Walsh and the Nets training staff, he would have died.

Sann, an advance scout for the Nets as well as an assistant coach, is not always at Nets practice due to a hectic travel schedule scouting other teams. Shrugging off chest pain and other warnings for the past month, Sann collapsed at practice in East Rutherford. Wojnarowski writes...

So Sunday morning, Sann felt his chest tightening again, popped another pill and thought it would just go away again. Only, it didn't this time. Only, his heart started to pound through his chest, and Sann wobbled over to the basketball stanchion in the Nets' practice facility. Now, the heart attack belonged to him. All those salads, all those workouts to that crazy Insanity DVD they sell on TV, and still Jim Sann had gone down, and gone down hard.

When he came to, the clearest signal that he was still "among the living", said Sann, was that "Kevin Garnett was yelling."

Sann is scheduled to leave the hospital for his Manhattan home on Wednesday, He will not be on the sidelines for a while. He will instead spend more time with his two kids, something being a scout prohibited at times. Sann, who lost his wife to cancer, talked about how Walsh's quick thinking --and action-- was critical to his survival, just as it had been with Teletovic.

Tim Bontemps said Matt Horton, a team staff member who was working out with Sann at the time of the attack, alerted Walsh, assistant trainers Lloyd Beckett and Alessandro Oliveira and team massage therapist John Rink "who sprang into action, with Walsh performing CPR while the others got out a defibrillator and, eventually, brought Sann back."

"I’m grateful that these guys knew exactly what to do, and were able to do it so quickly that there was no long-term damage," Sann told Bontemps.

It was Walsh, the NBA's trainer of the year,  who also implored Teletovic to stay in Los Angeles for further testing last month after left the game with shortness of breath. He was later diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs, which could have killed him if he had boarded the team plane later that night. As Woj wrote...

He was damn lucky, the right place and right time with a hero named Tim Walsh. Sann knows this, though: He could've far easily been alone in a hotel room, in the middle seat on a plane and never lived to tell his story, never lived to raise those kids.

Indeed, as Woj wrote, Sann was "blessed" by "the presence of one of the best trainers in the NBA: the Nets' Tim Walsh."

For the Nets long-time trainer --and star of otherwise lamentable "Just Wright"-- it was recognition of the best kind: saving a life by doing his job. For Sann, it was a reminder of the randomness of life.