Ronny Turiaf Expresses ‘Gratitude’ Toward Lakers Paying For His Heart Surgery

Ronny Turiaf

Ronny Turiaf was never a major player for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he did spend his first three seasons in the NBA with the team and became a fan favorite due to his non-stop motor and excellent celebrations on the bench. Turiaf also dealt with a very serious heart issue before he ever played a game which required open heart surgery.

What will Kobe Bryant make this season? Find out here!

Even though the Lakers had to void Turiaf’s contract, they retained his rights so that they could re-sign him after he recovered and even paid for his surgery. In a piece he penned for The Players’ Tribune, Turiaf expressed gratitude for everything the team did for him:

“Gratitude” is also my word for the Lakers. Once I failed my physical, they had zero obligation to pay for my surgery. Zero. I had never even met Dr. Buss at that point. But they did, and they were added to the list of people I needed to honor by getting back on the court.

Turiaf also said that he asked general manager Mitch Kupchak for his number 21 jersey and ensured him that he would wear it one day:

I told Mitch Kupchak to bring a jersey to the hospital. I had a Sunday white right in front of my bed. He came to see me, and I had tubes in my neck — tubes everywhere. But I told him, “I’m gonna rock that No. 21. I guarantee you.” He didn’t believe me. I know he didn’t. He had to be like, There’s no way that kid comes back and plays.

Going through open-heart surgery for an enlarged aortic valve in your heart and coming back to play in the NBA only six months later is an amazing accomplishment. Turiaf’s heart and fighting spirit on the basketball court makes complete sense when considering what he dealt with off of it.

The Lakers have always said that they consider their players family and always treat them as such. What they did for Turiaf is more proof of what the organization truly believes in.

[divide]


Please enable Javascript to watch this video

You May Also Like

Mavericks General Manager Nico Harrison Reveals Lakers Previously Pursed Him For Front-Office Role

After an eventful 2020-21 regular season, teams around the league made several moves to reorganize themselves with the Dallas…

Lakers News: Isaiah Thomas Asks For His After Cavaliers Wearing Matching Thom Browne Suits

The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers at this year’s trade deadline…

Lakers News: Jordan Clarkson, Luke Walton Downplay Scuffle With Goran Dragic

The Los Angeles Lakers got back in the win column with their 127-100 victory over the Miami Heat, but the biggest story coming out of the game..

Lakers News: JaVale McGee Believes Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Young Core Showed Growth By Experiencing ‘Winning Pressure’

The Los Angeles Lakers young core got tested in a major way during the 2018-19 NBA season with the arrival of LeBron…