The Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. While Ball has been met with a lot of criticism, he is exactly what he was touted to be.
Okay, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Ignore the ridiculous LaVar Ball-Donald Trump feud. Ignore LaVar Ball’s comments about the Lakers’ poor coaching of his son. The hype machine around Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has spun out of control, his performances playing a key part in that spiral.
However, with all the craziness and all of the NBA drama, there has been one constant. That indeed has been Lonzo Ball’s play at the NBA level. Although it has not been pretty on the eyes, this is exactly what the young point guard was touted to be. Yet still, certain NBA analysts still have no problem labeling Ball a bust after just over a month of play.
Which is the craziest part of this entire ordeal. Ball has had the public eye on him since his senior season at Chino Hills High School. With brothers LaMelo and LiAngelo, the Ball brothers led Chino Hills to a California State Championship.
Following that, Ball took his talents to Westwood and played one season with the UCLA Bruins. There, Ball racked up several NCAA accolades while leading UCLA to the Sweet Sixteen. This was a year after the program went 15-17 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament.
Still, throughout all of this Ball was touted as the next Jason Kidd. Los Angeles prayed that they would retain their draft pick with a top three lottery draw. Heck, the Lakers even traded Lou Williams to ensure this of happening.
Then it happened. The Lakers got the pick, everybody celebrated and Lonzo Ball seemed destined to be a Laker. Then D’Angelo Russell got traded, opening the door for Ball to lead the Lakers’ enlightenment. The Lakers have become the disappointment of major LA sports, and with Ball, they looked to reclaim their throne on the second biggest sports market in America.
Now, over a month into play, Ball is being nitpicked and criticized like no other player in the NBA. Is his shooting percentage low? Yes. Is his scoring mediocre at the NBA level? Yes. Is his shot funky and in need of some tuning? Yes.
However, Ball was never presented as a scorer. He was never the guy that would take over and drop thirty points on opposing defenses. Instead, he was touted as a playmaker. A point guard that is bigger than the natural size that can change the culture of an offense while snagging boards like a forward.
What has Ball done? The rookie has changed the culture of the offense, leading to a much quicker pace and better scoring for his teammates. For every Kyle Kuzma, there is a Lonzo Ball. Ball is rebounding and assisting his teammates. Yet still, the kid is labeled a bust less than a quarter into the NBA season.
More from LA Sports Hub
- Lakers: 5 Players to Target Through Trades to make another championship run
- LA Chargers: Week 8 against Denver Broncos is a must-win
- LA Rams: Jared Goff wants to keep the Los Angeles title streak going
- Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Clippers interested in Rajon Rondo
- LA Chargers: Justin Herbert wins AFC Rookie of the Month
Ball is averaging 8.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. Four players in the entire NBA are averaging more than seven rebounds and seven assists per game. Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James. Even the youngest triple-double in NBA history is not enough to quiet Ball’s haters.
Perhaps this is a product of today’s NBA. Thirty years ago, Ball would have been labeled as a superstar as a rookie. Now, you must be able to shoot the three-ball and score in bunches to be successful. If not, you must adapt, or you are nothing more than a role player.
And that is fine if Ball is a role player moving forward. The Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball as bait for scoring superstars. Every scorer wants to play with someone that distributes the basketball and isn’t selfish. Lonzo Ball is that guy. As time comes, so will his shot, but that was never his expertise anyway.
Leave the 20-year old alone. He has not even played 20 games in the NBA yet. His father is outlandish, his family has had their fair share of antics. However, Ball is a soft-spoken, dedicated point guard that just wants to take the Lakers to the playoffs.