They desperately need a leader
If it’s one thing outside of not being able to shoot that Lonzo Ball has shown us beyond a shadow of a doubt is the fact that leadership qualities are lacking. If we’re honest, it was most apparent when his teammates recently got in a scuffle, but Ball ignored the commotion and walked to the other side of the court.
Afterwards, Ball explained that he didn’t get in the middle of things because he didn’t want a technical foul called on him and he also felt like they weren’t really going to fight. Additionally, Lonzo Ball has the body language of someone who is seriously passive, and that also means that he doesn’t look like a leader to anybody else.
The irony here is that’s the exact flaw that supposedly bugged Magic Johnson about D’Angelo Russell so much. Johnson even went on to talk about his issues with D’Angelo Russell after he was traded to Brooklyn.
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If that was the real problem, it should be nobody but Magic Johnson pushing this idea of benching Lonzo. The real issue though, it seems, is that Johnson is crazy for a sort of star power that his player just don’t have yet.
With the exception of Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Clarkson, you could argue that none of the young core has really stepped up and met their potential. None of those situations are more dangerous, though, than Lonzo Ball not being where he needs to be across the board.
Clarkson’s explosive style of play can also be contagious to the starting lineup, and improve the energy from guys playing well right now like Kyle Kuzma and Brook Lopez with Brandon Ingram getting there along with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The bottom line here is that Lonzo isn’t fit to lead yet, but there’s a way to fix it. If the Lakers choose not to address it, then they claim responsibility for whatever the consequences are that follow.