Tim Walsh saves Coach Jim Sann’s life at Nets Practice


Despite experiencing a season that the Brooklyn Nets organization and fan base would like to forget, there has been one major bright spot during the 2014-2015 NBA Season in the form of Nets Athletic Trainer Tim Walsh. With a reputation for being one of the best trainers in the NBA, he may have sealed the number one spot after his heroic act this past week.

On February 1st, Nets’ Advance Scout and Assistant Coach Jim Sann suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest during practice, but Walsh performed CPR and used a defibrillator, which likely saved his life.  Sann, who is normally on the road scouting opponents, said he felt a “burning sensation” during practice, but ignored it.  He had experienced chest pains over the past month, but after swallowing acid reflux pills those pains would subside.

All of a sudden that sensation became overwhelmingly painful at practice, and as Sann described his reaction, “I was like Holy (expletive)”, so he sat down thinking that would help.  Sann, however, lost consciousness and was thankfully revived by Walsh, Assistant Trainers Lloyd Beckett and Alessandro Oliveira, and Massage Therapist John Rink.  When he regained consciousness he could hear power forward Kevin Garnett yelling “You’re still here. You’re okay. You ain’t gonna die.”

Sann has always lived a healthy lifestyle and never believed he’d experience something life-threatening at 46 years old. He was lucky that Walsh was there to perform CPR and use a defribrilator, eventually, bringing 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,” said Sann. After losing his wife to cancer, he’s even more grateful to Walsh for giving him the opportunity to continue fathering his two young children. He could’ve been in a hotel room, on a plane, or in the crowd of an opponent’s arena and not survived.

Instead, he was transferred to the hospital where doctors conducted surgery after discovering an 80 percent blockage in an artery to his heart.  Sann was sent home three days later where he will spend more time with his two kids instead of on the sidelines, something that he assuredly has to be pleased with after his brush with death.

Coach Jim Sann (Photo Credit to Yahoo.com)

It was the second time Walsh’s diligence saved a member of the Nets’ Organization, as he pleaded with Mirza Teletovic to stay in Los Angeles after a loss to the Clippers for further testing when Teletovic experienced shortness of breath. Teletovic was later diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs, which may have caused his death if he had flown with the team that night.

Teletovic once called Walsh “the Godfather” because of his talent, efficiency, and preparedness. That nickname certainly fits this season as Walsh has been a true godfather watching over and guiding all in the Nets organization.

After his surgery, Sann’s message was strong and clear. “Don’t be a macho man,” he said. “Don’t be stupid. I was stupid, and end I ended up dead, and was lucky that someone could [bring me back].” With such an intense schedule NBA personnel will likely take that to heart, giving Walsh’s actions a chance to make an impact far beyond the hardwood.