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Old 02-26-2003, 01:59 AM   #1
Clipper Boy
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Default Bad news for Big Mac

PHILADELPHIA -- Diagnosed with a disease that weakens his legs and disrupts his balance, Todd MacCulloch could be done playing basketball.


MacCulloch




The Philadelphia 76ers' center underwent additional tests Monday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Team spokesman Chris Wallace said the 76ers wouldn't immediately discuss the results.


Medical experts said Monday it's unlikely MacCulloch will be able to continue playing with a genetic disorder known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.


In most cases, doctors said, patients lose normal use of their feet and legs slowly as their nerves stop working properly and their muscles deteriorate.


"It's a progressive disease, and at this time there is no treatment,'' said Dr. Carlos Garcia, a professor of clinical neurology at Tulane. "Sometimes surgery can help, but I don't believe you can play basketball once you have these types of problems in your feet and your hands.''


At a news conference Sunday, MacCulloch tried to sound upbeat but choked back tears as he talked about making basketball "secondary.''


"It's been really difficult for me,'' the 27-year-old center said. "I feel I've had kind of a charmed life, a blessed life. ... I was just kind of wondering when things weren't going to go so well.''


MacCulloch's agent, Aaron Goodwin, did not immediately return a call Monday.


The disease is hereditary. MacCulloch said his mother also suffers from poor balance and leg soreness, but has never been diagnosed with the syndrome. Doctors said if the diagnosis is accurate, MacCulloch's symptoms won't improve and will only worsen.


"The likelihood of him returning would be low,'' said Dr. Shawn Bird, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. "An athlete who has already had to miss games because of the onset of symptoms might able to play for a bit while longer, but not at the same level.''

About 150,000 Americans have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, doctors said. MacCulloch was born in Canada.


MacCulloch has missed 16 games this season. He has averaged 7.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in just over 19 minutes.


The discomfort in his foot dates from late last season, when MacCulloch missed 20 games with the New Jersey Nets. The 76ers acquired MacCulloch and Keith Van Horn in the offseason for Dikembe Mutombo.



I hope for the best for T-Mac 2 (name suggested during the 2002 NBA finals as a joke) .
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Old 02-26-2003, 02:42 AM   #2
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Yesss!!! Now the Sixer's will suck even more now!!! Muahahhahaha!!!!! Take that Iverson!
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Old 02-26-2003, 03:49 AM   #3
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I never liked the sixers but imagine how much it must suck for a somewhat young player to be forced to retire because of a cereer ending disorder
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Old 02-26-2003, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hero
Yesss!!! Now the Sixer's will suck even more now!!! Muahahhahaha!!!!! Take that Iverson!
i think thats terrible. MacCulloch was a decent young center nearing his prime and now his career may be cut short by a disease. i hope if his career is over the Sixers play even hader and especially do me one favor- kick Golden State's ass
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Old 02-26-2003, 06:31 PM   #5
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Hey I have nothing against the White T-Mac (even though he sucked), it's his team I hate. And if things are meant to happen, hey, it happens.
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Old 02-26-2003, 06:35 PM   #6
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here's what i remember about mac....my miami of ohio boys from the mac lead by wally smoking the washington team lead by t-mac in the ncaa tourney. you can't stop wally!
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