Lonzo Ball wanted nothing more than to play for the Lakers, but now he sounds excited for a new start in New Orleans.
The adjustment was clear, even when his father LaVar tried to "talk about existence," so it was a truism for the Los Angeles Lakers to take Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall in the 2017 draft. Two injury seasons were limited, Ball went to the New Orleans pelicans as part of the exchange that brought Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
Despite losing their star player, the Pelicans have a lot of talent in place with the No. 1 overall selection, Zion Williamson, as the headliner. But guard Jrue Holiday is still in place, to accompany veteran additions J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors, as well as Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart joined Ball in the Davis deal and the great rookie man Jaxson Hayes.
Playing for the Lakers comes with a lot of attention and drama, and his father adds a good amount of fuel to the fire. Speaking with ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk on Saturday after filming for the PUBG Mobile Team Up Superstar Showdown event, Ball talked about the exchange.
"I was a little excited, honestly," he said. "I figured someone was going to move in. I knew Anthony Davis wanted to come in. Every time you can get a guy like that, you'll have to do what you have to do to get him." So I was already waiting, honestly, and I was happy to go with two guys with whom I feel comfortable in BI [Brandon Ingram] and JHart [Josh Hart]. I'm excited to see what we can do.
"I tell people that when I was a rookie, I probably would have been sad," Ball said of their exchange. "I'm just from L.A., having all my family here and wanting to be a Laker. But being in the league for two years, knowing that it's a business, as long as you play, that's a blessing in itself. I'm excited to start.
Ball, with more than 99 games in the NBA, averaged 10.0 points, 6.4 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 38 percent from the floor and 31.5 percent from the 3-point range in his career . The improvement as a shooter will be the key to unlocking a new level for him, and better health would also be a great help, since knee and ankle problems have derailed him. A change of scenery can not hurt either, and Ball is pleased to have a new start in New Orleans.