Since being selected with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball has added an endless number of comparisons with the president of Magic Johnson basketball operations for their similar style of play and shared position.
Ball and Johnson also enjoyed successful college careers prior to their selections and represented a new and exciting era of Lakers basketball. Of course, Johnson has an advantage when he led the state of Michigan with the NCAA title.
A key difference between the two, with the Lakers, however, is that Johnson was fortunate to inherit a talented team with many veterans already in place, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes, to name a few.
That was not the case with Ball, who was pushed into a leadership role in one of the youngest teams in the league. In addition, the Lakers came from a historically bad season.
Johnson pointed out that having a veteran point guard in Norm Nixon by his side was beneficial for his rookie season, and he opines that the lack of an experienced point guard in the current Lakers' list has made the transition of Ball to the NBA is much more difficult, through Spectrum SportsNet:
"I'll tell you what he had that he does not have, he had Norm Nixon, because Norm played the position of point guard, he was able to take me aside before each game, in practice, and give me very good nuggets about how I should approach this guy, how I should play it, what I was going to do, and it goes on and on and on We do not have a veteran guy, in terms of a base that he can help Lonzo on the road and teach him the ropes, so he's involved and has to learn game by game, and that's difficult for a rookie in the position of shipowner, and I was not a man of the hometown, the pressure of being from LA, I think what He did not have a shoe, Michael Jordan did not have a shoe, Larry Bird did not have a shoe as a rookie. He is really balancing many different things. I just hope he rests. He understands that basketball should be the first. "
Having said that, Johnson also revealed future plans to start watching the game movie with Ball, and intends to take a mentoring role with him as well. The relationship will extend beyond matters on the court, if Ball so desires.
While Ball has had problems with his release at the beginning, he has done an excellent job of creating looks for his teammates. evident on Thursday night, when the 20-year-old found Brandon Ingram, who won a game, against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Ball recently fought with stiffness in both calves, but still has managed to collect a solid performance on consecutive victories on the road
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