There have, understandably, been great expectations in Los Angeles ever since the NBA draft in June. The Lakers, with the second overall pick, took Lonzo Ball and the feeling in L.A., and possibly beyond, is that the 19-year-old will make team a contender.
His father, the outspoken LaVaar Ball, has already made promises. “Lonzo Ball is gonna take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year,” he said. “Come see me when he does.” Lakers legend and now president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was effusive, he sees greatness after watching Ball tear it up the Summer League.
“If he’s getting triple-doubles in the summer league, he is going to get triple-doubles in the regular season,” Johnson said, as quoted by ESPN. “Lonzo is special, no question about it, because he makes everyone better. He does something you can’t teach.”
But a tweet sent out by the Lakers' official Twitter account earlier this week suggested Ball has even greater expectations for himself. In weight training, the point guard wore a T-shirt with the NBA logo on the front, but instead of the silhouette of Jerry West it showed the face of Ball.
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The rookie was also the only Lakers player not wearing a Lakers uniform. He was back on the court late Tuesday evening, as well, showing off his ability with a video on Instagram.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are also busy trying to persuade LeBron James to choose L.A. as his next destination, and to opt out of his contract with the Cavs next summer.
It seems, increasingly, that James will not be playing in Cleveland come next summer, and heading for Los Angeles instead. This theory was reported by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor in June, and echoed by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski earlier this summer, both saying James would end up in L.A. with either the Lakers or the Clippers. Peter Vecsey, the Bleacher Report columnist, went one step further this week to say the decision had already been made and he was going to the Lakers.
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