The Lonzo Ball era has officially begun for the Los Angeles Lakers and after a subpar performance in his Summer League debut, haters were calling him a bust. Now they better put some respect on his name because he bounced back with a triple-double against the Boston Celtics.
Lonzo Ball has as much hype as any rookie coming into the NBA. That means there is a constant media circus around him which comes with tons of scrutiny for his shortcomings. So when Lonzo had a less than impressive first game as a Laker against the Los Angeles Clippers the media was all over it.
The criticism ranged from media members, to fans and even professional athletes. It seemed as if many were just waiting on Lonzo to stink up the joint. But wanting a kid to fail is pretty harsh, even if he does have a father that rubs people the wrong way.
But Lonzo had the best response to his critics. He balled out. He didn’t respond to his haters via Twitter but on the basketball court. Lonzo posted a triple-double against the Boston Celtics in his second Summer League game with a stat line of 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Zo’s highlights game 2. Bust right. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/qOx9MgaHKM
— Asha ⁶ (@PlanetAsha) July 9, 2017
Lonzo’s triple-double was modest in the points area but the Lakers didn’t draft him to score. They drafted him to distribute the ball and he is lightyears ahead of other rookies when it comes to passing. Ball gets his teammates involved effortlessly and makes the game easier for those he plays with. No other rookie will come close to 11 assists in Summer League. The points and rebounds are just icing on the cake.
The scariest part about Lonzo’s game is that he’s already an elite passer who can finish at the rim. Once he becomes accustomed to the NBA three-point line he’ll be able to add shooting to his arsenal. So all of his haters who called him a bust after he went 2-for-15 from the field and 1-for-11 from three in his first game as a pro need not be a prisoner of the moment.
In the Lakers’ losing effort to the Clippers Lonzo still managed five assists, five points, four rebounds, two steals and one block. That’s not a bad stat line even if it is below expectations. But Ball responded in the best way he could; he played better.
His assist total against Boston could have easily been higher than 11 had the Lakers hit a few more of the shots he set them up for. Imagine what Lonzo will accomplish when he has shooters around him. At least, for now, haters can’t say anything about him except that he got game, and the league better take notice.