The gap between Jerry West and Lonzo Ball was very small, but the better scoring from West is what gave him the edge at the end of the day. The rebounds and assists numbers are pretty similar, except that they are flipped, so the four more points per game really do make a difference.
However, these are projected stats for Lonzo Ball. The rookie sensation could very easily outperform what is expected of him, which he has already done in the NBA Summer League and preseason. If Ball can score around 15 a game, drop around eight to nine assists and rebound the ball five times a game, he very easily would rank ahead of West.
However, for the time being, West still looks to have the better rookie campaign that set up a truly historic career. The NBA logo went on to play all 14 years of his NBA career with the Lakers, making the NBA All-Star team every single season of his career. In the middle of his career, West was one of the most dominant point guards to ever do it.
If it wasn’t for the pure dominance of Wilt Chamberlain at this time, West easily could have taken home multiple MVPs, as he ended his career with zero. In his prime, West was averaging above 30 points with seven or so assists and five rebounds.
Even if Ball has a better rookie campaign than West it is going to be pretty hard to surpass the career totals that West pieced together. Basketball was far different then, and the gap between superstars and regular players was far greater. However, Ball can still accomplish what the logo couldn’t; win rookie of the year.