CLEVELAND (AP) — The wife of PGA champion Jason Day is suffering from concussion symptoms after NBA star LeBron James crashed into her during a Cavaliers game.
Day’s agent, Bud Martin, issued a statement Friday morning saying Ellie Day “is resting comfortably and appreciates all of those who have reached out and are concerned about her.” He added she has “no hard feelings” toward James and quotes her as saying, “He was just doing his job. Go Cavs.”
Ellie Day was carried from Quicken Loans Arena on a backboard, placed on a stretcher with her head immobilized and taken to MetroHealth Medical Center on Thursday night. She was released early Friday morning.
James was scrambling for a loose ball in the fourth quarter of a 104-100 win over Oklahoma City when the 6-foot-8, 250-pound All-Star launched himself into the air, plowing into Day as she sat next to her husband.
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“First of all, I am OK!!” Ellie Day tweeted Friday. “I am incredibly sore and exhausted. Being tackled by that large man would compare to a minor car accident. My head and neck hit pretty hard so it was really scary. My whole body feels like it was hit by a truck.
“Second, it was so fast. I didn’t remember until 2 a.m. seeing the ball come toward me. It was a blur. To the crazies that think Jason should have protected me — if he had had time to react, so would have I. Also, I would not have liked both dudes landing on me. LeBron is huge and had such momentum he could not have stopped!!
In the statement, she thanked her doctors, emergency medical staff and the entire Cleveland Cavaliers organization for their help.
James said he spoke with Ellie Day while she was being helped by medical personnel during a stoppage in play.
“I squeezed her hand and she said she was OK,” he said. “She was just a little weary.”
Before he was given more information on her, James, who scored 33 points and flirted with a triple-double, was noticeably shaken when he left the floor following the Cavs’ win.
“For me, obviously, her health is very important and hopefully she is doing well,” James said. “The guys told me she’s doing great now. For me, just going for a loose ball, tried to keep the possession going, I just hate that that was the end result.”
James said if she had been pregnant, he would have jumped over the first row of seats.
A little while later, James tweeted: “Ellie Day I hope you’re doing okay! My apologies! Hope u guys come back to another game soon. Love LJ!”
On Nov. 11, Ellie Day gave birth to the couple’s second child, a girl named Lucy.
Jason Day, who lives in a Columbus suburb, accompanied his wife as she was carried from the floor. The couple has attended Cleveland games in the past, and she was pregnant with their second child when they went to an exhibition game earlier this year in Columbus. That night, Cavs guard J.R. Smith bought cotton candy for the Days’ son, Dash, while he sat on the bench.
Jason Day is the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world. He won the PGA Championship this year for his first major win on the PGA Tour.
Shortly before his wife was injured, Jason Day took part in a promotion during a timeout. As fans cheered, the Australian chipped foam basketballs into the crowd.
Cavs coach David Blatt said he was unaware of the severity of the collision. He has long been nervous about the safety of fans sitting so close to the action.
“Honestly, the only thing I saw was LeBron diving for the ball to save the ball,” Blatt said. “I kind of got blocked and just saw a sea of bodies. We all hope that she’s OK. It’s always concerned me, the sideline seats. Always concerned me, because things like that, when you’re talking about players of this speed and physicality and effort level, it’s not a simple thing.
“The powers that be are the ones that really need to decide how to deal with that. He made an honest attempt at the basketball, that’s all, obviously. We all hope she’s OK.”