Lonzo Ball would never reach the ridiculous expectations he had set as a rookie. With the backing of Magic Johnson, the constant boasting of his father and the Big Baller brand on his slender shoulders, all of Ball's enemies were ready to call him bust.
But even with any normal rookie measure, it has been a difficult season for the former UCLA Star. In the Lakers' 115-100 loss to the Nuggets on Saturday night, Ball scored nine points in 4 of 10 shots with nine rebounds, five badists and five turnovers. The ball has dropped to 31.8 percent shooting for the year and below 50 percent from the free throw line. He was also hit with a technical foul in the fourth quarter after committing a personal foul in an attempt to launch Jamal Murray.
MORE: Can Lonzo improve as a shooter?
Murray seemed to take the match personally, scoring 28 points in Denver's victory. Maybe it had something to do with Ball putting a double triple in the Lakers' victory against the Nuggets on November 19, or maybe it was just a small pleasure to reduce the speed of the Ball hype train.
Whatever the reason, Murray emphasized not only overcoming Ball, but also embarrbading him before the bell. His teammate, Julius Randle, was not a fan of Murray, who dribbled by Ball to finish the game.
The Lakers did not take kindly into account Jamal Murray, who turned around Lonzo to end the game. pic.twitter.com/bGBPiQy5nq
– NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 3, 2017
"I may have taken it too far, it was a bad move for me", Murray He said after the game (through Harrison Wind of BSNDenver.com). "The energy was very good and we had such a good game, as I said, it may have gone too far, but the energy was excellent and I felt we could do whatever we wanted."
Despite the reaction, Murray did not seem too concerned about the incident based on his post-match tweet.
The first time he received this amount of hatred, we only played ball ?
– Jamal Murray (@ BeMore27) December 3, 2017  Ball and Murray exchanged verbal shots throughout the game. Basketball is competitive, so the trash talk happens. But removing this movement will definitely make the next match more intense.
Mark your calendars. The Lakers and the Nuggets will face off in Los Angeles on March 9.