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NBA announcer loses consciousness on-air, now 'in great spirits'

By NICK GARCIA Published Dec 07, 2022 10:36 am Updated Dec 07, 2022 10:47 am

A veteran play-by-play NBA announcer lost consciousness on-air ahead of the game on Dec. 6.

In a widely shared clip on Twitter, Bob Rathbun was discussing with co-host Dominique Wilkins the matchup between Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder, when he fell back in his chair and began convulsing.

Cameras cut away as medical personnel on-site attended to Rathbun, during which he was already alert and responsive, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Bally Sports Southeast, the 68-year-old's network, in a statement on Dec. 6 said he got dehydrated and received quick treatment.

"He is stable, responsive, and heading to Emory Midtown for further evaluation," Bally Sports Southeast said.

According to Mayo Clinic, dehydration, or the lack of water and other fluids in the body, can lead to seizures. That's because electrolytes become out of balance, mixing up the normal electrical messages in the body.

Johns Hopkins Medicine said general symptoms of seizures include:

  • staring
  • jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • stiffening of the body
  • loss of consciousness
  • breathing problems

In another statement on Dec. 7, Bally Sports said Rathbun, after staying in the hospital overnight, "is in great spirits." His test results were all "favorable," and is set to be discharged already.

"He will return to the broadcast booth only after he is well rested and fully recovered," it said.

Rathbun has been with Bally Sports since 1996 as broadcaster for Atlanta Hawks. Lauren Jbara filled in for him during Tuesday's game.

The Hawks, meanwhile, lost against Oklahoma City Thunder, 114 to 121.