Fatima Smith, mother of Los Angeles Lakers forward Michael Beasley, died of cancer on Sunday. Beasley, 29, shared a photo of his mom on Instagram.com on Sunday. He captioned the image "Mommy" alongside an angel emoji.
Beasley, who was born and raised in Prince George's County, took a week off to be with his ailing mom at her Maryland home. She requested to attend the Los Angeles Lakers vs Washington Wizards game on Dec, 16, according to a team spokesperson.
Smith and her son watched the first half of the game from a luxury suite. Beasley briefly rejoined his teammates on the bench for about 10 minutes before returning to be with his mom in the 2nd half.
John Wall led the Wizards past the Lakers 128-110. After the game, Beasley's teammates showed their support for him and his ailing mom.
"It's happy to have our brother back, see a smile on his face," said LeBron James. "The game of basketball's done so much for him and for him to be able to get away from whatever situation he's in, I know it's a bright spot for him. I just try to give him respect. I'm ready for him when he comes back, that's for sure, but it's all family time."
Kyle Kuzma said, "I couldn’t imagine going through it especially with the relationship I have with my mother. I know he has the same. We’re all here for him, giving him a helping hand for whatever he has. It was just great to see him.”
Smith, a single mom of four, worked multiple jobs -- sometimes 2 jobs in one day -- to support Beasley and his siblings. Beasley later told Sports Illustrated he didn't have a father figure growing up.
After he got a speeding ticket, Smith confiscated his 2003 Chevy Tahoe for two weeks and ordered him to write a note of apology to her.
The Kansas State University standout was the #2 pick for the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA draft. He purchased a home for his mom and assisting her with opening a hair salon.
Beasley played for 7 NBA teams and a stint overseas before the Lakers signed him for the 2018-19 season.
He missed 10 games for "personal reasons" to be by his mother's side.
"We take our jobs very serious but we know that there's always real life happening and that's always the most important thing," Lakers head coach Luke Walton told the Los Angeles Times.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images