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Dave Portnoy: ‘It’s a miracle I survived’ illness during Celtics collapse

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy feels lucky to be alive.

On Tuesday, Portnoy said it’s “a miracle I survived” after an illness forced the diehard Boston sports fan to miss Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and the Heat.

The media personality previously said in a separate video on Twitter that he was bedridden with a 104-degree fever and needed to prioritize his health instead of attending the game at TD Garden, where the Celtics were blown out by the Heat 103-84 on Monday night.

During the Tuesday installment of the “Barstool Rundown,” Portnoy said, “I had every reason in the book not to do this rundown… I was almost dead yesterday.”

It came after Barstool Sports host Dan Katz called him “the biggest coward of all time,” seemingly referring to Portnoy leaving his usual courtside seat vacant at TD Garden.

“Let’s not forget that you sat out because you had the sniffles,” Barstool host Kevin Clancy chimed in.

“I did not have the sniffles,” Portnoy hit back.

Katz then said Portnoy was “soft” for missing the game.

Dan Katz, Kevin Clancy and Dave Portnoy on the "Barstool Rundown" on May 30, 2023.

“I couldn’t get out of bed. I’m lucky that I wasn’t dead,” Portnoy said. “I was that sick… I’m lucky I’m here… I could’ve been dead.”

Portnoy went on to say that he couldn’t even stand — and could barely see while battling the illness.

“If I stood up there was a chance I’d hit my head on a rock, that’s how dizzy I was,” he said. “I had my hand around [his girlfriend] Silvana [Mojica] trying to get to the door… I just fell down.”

On Tuesday, Portnoy took to Twitter to share that he was feeling much better.

Dave Portnoy reacted to the Celtics’ Game 7 loss to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals on May 29, 2023.
Twitter/Dave Portnoy

“The important thing is I feel better and have my health,” he wrote. “Without your health you have nothing.”

In a separate video posted to Twitter prior to Game 7, Portnoy said he started feeling sick on Sunday.

“Yesterday around 1 I started feeling like s–t,” he said. “Chills, shivers, you name it… I haven’t been out of bed yet. I’ve been in bed now for 24 straight hours, 30 hours, no food, haven’t gone to the bathroom, nothing. Can’t get up.

“I think I just put all of my energy, emotion in trying to will the Celtics to win the series so bad it took everything I had… If this is how my story ends, so be it. Dave went down willing the Celtics to come back for the first time in history of the NBA from 0-3.” 

Portnoy attended the Celtics’ 110-97 Game 5 win in Boston.

Dave Portnoy and Guy Fieri look on in the first quarter during Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on June 8, 2022, in Boston.
Getty Images

The second-seeded Celtics were on the brink of making history as the first team to win a series after falling behind 3-0 but didn’t get the job done on their home floor in Game 7.

The eighth-seeded Heat will face the Nuggets in the 2023 NBA Finals, with Game 1 set for Thursday in Denver.