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#pounditThursday, June 13, 2024

Alex Caruso missed sister’s wedding to remain in NBA bubble

Alex Caruso

NBA players have had to make some sacrifices in order to take part in the resumption of the season in Orlando. For Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso, that meant missing his sister’s wedding.

Caruso’s sister Megan, who is two years older than him, got married outside of Austin, Texas, on July 18. Caruso told ESPN’s Zach Lowe that Megan is “as close to my No. 1 fan as anyone could get,” and he originally planned to attend the wedding after discussing it with Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and general manager Rob Pelinka. When he gave it more thought, however, Caruso made the difficult decision to remain in Orlando.

The NBA’s health and safety guidelines for Orlando state that anyone who leaves the bubble for “extenuating circumstances” — which include a previously scheduled wedding or other family event — may only have to quarantine for four days upon returning as long as they test negative for the coronavirus each day they are away. However, the quarantine period is subject to change for a number of reasons, and Lakers officials learned from the NBA that Caruso would likely have to quarantine for the standard 10-day period (which can be extended up to 14) when he returned due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Texas. If Caruso did have to miss 14 days after returning from a July 18 wedding, there was a possibility he would not be cleared in time for the resumption of the season on July 30.

Even if he did get cleared, Caruso said he would have been concerned about a false negative test that led to him infecting teammates.

“The worst-case scenario is that the virus is dormant inside me, I get cleared, and I’m around the whole team,” he told Lowe.

Caruso spoke with LeBron James and Anthony Davis about potentially leaving the bubble, and he says both superstars “supported my decision either way.” However, LeBron did relay to Caruso how important he is to the team with Avery Bradley having opted out of the restart and Rajon Rondo out with a hand injury. With all of that in mind, Caruso decided to remain in Orlando.

“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,” Caruso said. “But we have worked too hard.”

Caruso may be looking at a sixth-man role for the Lakers, and he recently said he is ready for that. Had it not been for Rondo’s injury, he may have still gone to the wedding. Instead, he spent the weekend watching the footage at his Walt Disney World hotel room. That’s serious commitment to the team, and the Lakers undoubtedly appreciate the sacrifice.

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