Author – Marcus Holguin (@Marcush721)
It was no secret that when the Lakers shipped D’Angelo Russell out of town, their only goal in mind was to draft the nation’s most polarizing player – Lonzo Ball. Yes, you know the story, a basketball prodigy coached and mentored by his outspoken father, Lavar Ball, has been at the pinnacle of the sports world since early November. Lonzo has gone from winning a California State Title in high school, turning around a 15-17 UCLA Bruins basketball program, and now winning an NBA Summer League MVP award. This amount of success should surprise no one, especially the Los Angeles Lakers.
When the Lakers decided to draft Lonzo Ball, the team was in desperate need of a culture change. After the 3rd consecutive season of drafting at the number 2 spot, and a year removed from losing the immortal Kobe Bryant, the Lakers may have found the young man destined to bring greatness back to Laker-Land. This young man may hold the key to luring big name free agents back to the purple and gold. Why? Not only does this young stud have the marketability factor, his basketball skills are really damn good too. Lonzo has the ability to slice up defenders with his uncanny ball handling, the ability to slash to the rim with such power and explosiveness, and the ability to command the floor with a passing trait the basketball world has not seen since Magic Johnson. Yes, I’ve just compared Lonzo Ball to Magic Johnson. Deal with it.
After averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 steals, Ball was deservingly named MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League en route to a Lakers Summer League Championship Title. Not to mention Lonzo also led the event in double-doubles and triple-doubles. The masses drove out to see this greatness on display as the Las Vegas Summer League had a new attendance record set at 127,843 fans that attended games at the Thomas and Mack Center. With an army of fans behind him, and a father hell-bent on seeing his son strive for greatness, we may just see Lonzo Ball hoist a Larry O’Brien trophy in the historic purple and gold.
You see, this isn’t hype. Hype is something that isn’t real. Lonzo Ball IS real. Magic Johnson said he was looking for a leader. Well, now he’s got one in Lonzo Ball. Welcome to the era of the Big Baller.