Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball was already having to deal with the difficulty of adjusting to the NBA when he was hit by much larger adversity this week upon receiving the news that his brother, UCLA Bruins guard LiAngelo Ball, had been arrested in China on charges of shoplifting along with two of his teammates.
The younger Ball has since been released but will reportedly not be allowed to return to the United States with his team when the Bruins depart Saturday night, according to Arash Markazi of ESPN.
A situation like that involving a sibling would be stressful for anyone to deal with, much less while they’re focused on starting their own professional career thousands of miles away and can’t do anything to help, but Lonzo said Saturday morning that his father gave him some reassurance in phone call, via Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
LaVar Ball called Lonzo last night to assure him they were handling things in China with LiAngelo. Lonzo said that put his mind at ease.
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) November 11, 2017
The Ball’s family situation is a lot more serious than any game of basketball right now, and it would be understandable if Lonzo were having a harder time focusing on the game while his brother was in peril in a foreign country.
The Lakers will continue their road trip Saturday night when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks and then fly to Phoenix to face the Suns Monday before returning home Wednesday. No matter what LaVar says, it will probably be hard to put Lonzo’s mind completely at ease until he gets home to his family, time passes and they start to see what’s going to happen to LiAngelo in China. Until then, the Lakers will have to support and be understanding of what their rookie point guard is going through off of the court.
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