Lonzo Ball Passed On Ankle Surgery After Lakers’ Threat

Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball nearly underwent an unauthorized procedure on his left ankle procedure before the organization threatened to void his rookie contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

The drama occurred in late February with Ball travelling to Ohio to undergo the surgery before the Lakers’ brass talked him out of it. Owner Jeanie Buss sent a plane to Ohio to pick up Ball and bring him back to Los Angeles, Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times tweets.

The surgery was planned by Ball’s estranged former business partner Alan Foster and with knowledge of his outspoken father, LaVar Ball, Charania continues. The Ball family was familiar with the Ohio surgeon since the doctor had previously operated on Lonzo’s younger brother LiAngelo Ball.

Lonzo Ball notified GM Rob Pelinka about his plans and at that point the organization told him they could void his contract if he underwent the procedure, Charania adds.

Pelinka and team president Magic Johnson, who stepped down this week, worked in tandem with Ball’s now former agent Harrison Gaines to change his mind about the surgical procedure.

Ball suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain on January 19 and missed the remainder of the season. Once Ball returned to Los Angeles, Johnson and Pelinka spent time with him at doctor appointments to make sure he followed the team’s rehab plan, according to Charania.

Ball is suing Foster, the former co-founder and manager of Big Baller Brand, for damages of more than $2MM. The suit alleges that Foster embezzled millions of dollars from the company for his personal use. He also parted ways with Gaines this month and hired Creative Artists Agency to represent him.

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38 thoughts on “Lonzo Ball Passed On Ankle Surgery After Lakers’ Threat

  1. rxbrgr

    Imagine a father caring about his son’s healthcare being called meddlesome ;)

    • captainsalty

      I don’t think that particular incident is where the term was coined for LaVar lol

    • infield fly

      Daddy has been extremely meddlesome and Alonzo needs to grow up and become his own man!

  2. Codeeg

    Weird would he effectively become a free agent if he had surgery or would the lakers just keep his rights and choose whether or not to resign him?

  3. Add it to the list. Things that never really happen, except when LaVar Ball is involved.

  4. dombrowski

    In retrospect he missed the remainder of the season due to the injury. So in this case weren’t the Lakers brass the meddlesome ones?

  5. TJECK109

    Occurred in February… was this perhaps a ploy by LaVar to drive down his sons value before the trade deadline?

  6. coldbeer

    What kind of langauge is in a rookie contract that says the team has control over a player’s health? Follow their rehab plan?

    What would happen if Ball did just that and got caught using a banned substance? Or didnt heal properly? Could he blame the team and have them be punished? Could he void the contract if it were in his best interest to do so?

    • bowserhound

      The kind that says you can’t go sky diving, cut off your hand or do other Dennis Rodman type stuff.

      • coldbeer

        He can’t have surgery with the doctor of his choosing? The team president forces himself into doctor’s meetings?

        Please focus.

        • No they can’t. Typically in the contracts they have to use certain facilities or doctors and for good reason. They owe players money regardless of injury. So if they are going to some doc to have surgery that the Lakers don’t approve and they screw something up, the Lakers are still on the hook. So all pro sports teams have clauses in their contracts they specify who can perform certain medical procedures etc. and if you want to use an outside physician, I believe they have to be approve first or you are in breach of contract.

          Do you really think these teams would just let players go to any doctor who can prescribe anything etc and risk the millions they have invested? Of course not.

  7. Thronson5

    They didn’t want him recovering from a surgery and stopping them from trading him. Seems obvious to me. But will he be healthy enough to trade anyways? Kind of wonder.

  8. x%sure

    As someone who also visits doctors in Ohio, I need more info :€ Names please

    Actually, this story is missing a key fill-in: What was so horrible about the Ohio doctor’s plan, that such threats must be made??? The Cali medical approach was not apparently a big success for Lonzo.
    Did he ever return no, he never returned, and his fate is still unlearned.

    • I don’t think it was about Ohio doctors, my understanding is that an operation is always the very last resource, as it always leaves a weakness, hence why some times we here a guy is trying some alternative therapy for a few weeks or months but maybe eventually needs to get an op, fans many times ask why didn’t he got the op 3 months ago, he would be ready by now? But they will try all & everything possible to avoid the op, even if it takes extra time. Anyway that is why I think they didn’t let him go through it, don’t think is about the quality of Ohio surgeons.

      • x%sure

        That was a sarcastic bit. It reminds me of how everyone in Khloe Kardashian’s LA world were so alarmed when she moved to Cleveland to be with TT. (BTW they have split)

        If the Cavs win the ZionW pick, some people will likely be concerned for Zion going there too!

  9. Jeff Zanghi

    This is a very odd and confusing story… like did he/does he need surgery? why would he have even been considering an uneccessary surgery? Or does he actually need it — seems really odd. Like I can’t imagine a player risking their health by undergoing a surgery they don’t need — but if he obviously didn’t need it to heal… then why was he even doing it in the first place?

  10. JonnyLucas

    This is just a comedy of errors. Not one single thing went right for the lakers.

  11. Guest617

    lol @ big baller brand – top 5 lotto picks get +50M shoe contracts and this clown got clowned by a “family friend

  12. driftcat28

    The lakers would be better off cutting Ball and the ref of the league would be better off pretending he doesn’t exist. He’s a cancer to a team, his father is an even worse type of cancer, and ball is garbage basketball player to begin with. Why he’s relevant is baffling

    • x%sure

      He’s relevant as a player in the league, indeed as a starter. Sorry you don’t like him, too bad.

      • driftcat28

        It has nothing to do with not liking him, he’s a terrible basketball player. Prove he’s not?

        • driftcat28

          On top of being terrible, he’s a headache. Why would you want him on your team?

        • x%sure

          The Lakers’ W-L after he went down; a plus on/off.
          It’s a popular argument. He’s not good for a #2 pick. But garbage?

          Are you not entertained by these Ball fam stories? The sinister cast of sponges and delusionals and Dr.Ohio? Maybe your way is grrr not haha…

        • D$!LLKU$H-og

          ESPN’s Zach Lowe had him nearly making the 2nd all-defense team but due to not playing as many games as other candidates he made him an honorable mention. Shot 32% from three and he should be around 35-37% soon. He’s gotta work on his free throws but he’ll be a solid starter in the league. On a team where he does the playmaking he could average 10-12 assists a game. Probably 6-8 rebounds as well. He’ll never be a 20PPG scorer but will top out at around 16.

  13. justinkm19

    This whole thing is the Lakers’ fault. Anyone with half a brain saw this coming. The father is trying to live through his kids and while he loves them, he is hurting their career. His value on the FA market (when he gets) there will be diminished because nobody will want to put up with their drama. Plus, he’s just not good enough to warrant the headache.

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