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“With the second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select”. The words heard throughout Brooklyn’s Barclays Center seconds before Lonzo Ball would step up to the podium and receive his Lakers hat.
Lakers fans across the world weren’t surprised at all. As a matter fact they were in “let’s get this over with” attitude.
I’m not saying there isn’t a whole heap to like about Ball, there is. The problem (if there is one) is produced when LaVar Ball (Lonzo’s dear old dad) opens his mouth.
The 6’6″ kid out of Chino Hills, California finished his only year at UCLA with averages of 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists (led the NCAA). On the offensive side, he runs the floor well and has great court vision getting his teammates involved. He can definitely spread the floor too hitting 41.2% from three point range.
The main questions are the usual. Can he bulk up that 190 pound frame? Will he be able defend at the NBA level? The other question is rather unusual, can he get out of the shadow of his father?
I say unusual because usually that question is reserved for the son of an actual NBA player. LaVar Ball is a character we haven’t seen since Joe Jackson, father of the famous Jackson Five (and the real MJ). Ok maybe that was drastic but he’s a guy doing all the talking while his sons has the real talent (sounds right to me).
The Magic Touch:
One things for sure both Ball’s (Giggity) are happy the younger one had landed with the Lakers. The opportunities are more plentiful in “La La” land and they span much farther than just basketball.
Now you have team president Magic Johnson and the type of influence he will have. Not just on Lonzo but on LaVar as well. Imagine your the young, tall and long point guard, who better to get tips from.
Now imagine your the an aspiring entrepreneur trying to build a company ground up, again who better to get tips from.
Johnson can single handedly give the Ball family everything they need to become a powerful clan. All he needs is the production from Lonzo Ball.
I don’t know if I can call the Lakers drafting Ball (and Ball) a match made in heaven. They will need much more talent wise to be considered a contender.
As far as what a team needs vs. what a prospect needs, this is as perfect a match as you can get. The key will be can Johnson draw out the true character in Ball the player while silencing (at least a little bit) the true character that LaVar Ball is.