Alex Caruso’s older sister, Megan, got married on Saturday in Texas — a ceremony the Los Angeles Lakers guard had planned to attend despite the NBA season preparing to resume and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
But two days before the wedding, Caruso reversed course.
His championship dreams with the Lakers, he said, were simply too important.
“If I was on a team that didn’t have title aspirations — a team trying to hold on to the No. 8 seed or something — it might have been different,” he told ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Tuesday. “But we have worked too hard.”
Caruso said he approached both coach Frank Vogel and general manager Rob Pelinka about attending the wedding weeks ago, both of whom approved.
However it could have made for some difficult moments upon his arrival back inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World — Caruso would have had to quarantine when he returned for at least four days and test negative for the virus.
With the way the pandemic is still raging throughout the United States and Texas, there is a chance he could have picked it up, too.
There were nearly 4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Tuesday night, according to The New York Times, and almost 142,000 deaths attributed to it. Texas had more than 354,000 cases — the fourth-most in the country — and recorded nearly 72,000 of those cases in the past week.
Given the state of the virus, Caruso said the Lakers told him he would likely have to quarantine for closer to 10 days when he returned — something that could have forced him to miss games if he did get infected.
Caruso was averaging 5.4 points and 1.9 rebounds off the bench this season when play was suspended, and played in nearly 18 minutes per game. The 26-year-old is in the first year of a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the organization.
Though missing an immediate family member’s wedding isn’t something anyone wants to do, Caruso is content with his decision. Having LeBron James and Anthony Davis’ approval certainly helped him make that call, too.
“They supported my decision either way,” Caruso said, via ESPN. “They also helped me realize how important I am to what we are trying to do here, now that [Avery Bradley] didn’t make it and [Rajon Rondo] hurt his hand. There is some added responsibility … They had my back. I felt genuine support from the organization.”
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