Big Baller: Lonzo Ball Electrifies
It’s gotta be the shoes right?
Channeling in his Mamba Mentality, Lonzo Ball returned to the starting lineup and led the Los Angeles Lakers to a 103-102 comeback win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening round of the NBA Summer League tournament in Las Vegas.
Ball sat out Monday’s game against the Sacramento Kings due to a sore groin, and returned tonight with an astounding performance.
The Big Baller Brand phenom was all over the place from the opening tip, making his presence felt as he made outlet pass after outlet pass right into his teammates hands.
If there is anything LaVar Ball is right about, it’s that Lonzo truly wants to make his team better. Zo dominated the game with his infectious passing, leading to extra passes swinging all over floor from every member of the roster. It may be “just” summer league, but it’s exactly the type of selfless basketball Magic Johnson and the Lakers organization envisioned the team playing moving forward.
“It wasn’t about me, it was about the team,” Ball told ESPN after the game.
We knew Lonzo Ball could pass, but tonight? Zo put his doubters on hold as he showed he can also take over the game with his scoring. With LeBron James sitting courtside, Zo would fill the box score with an LBJ-esque type of performance: 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks, continuing to pad his summer-league leading nine assists per game average.
After being questioned about his abilities to attack the basket and shoot the mid-range jumper in the first 2 games, Ball was very aggressive tonight, getting to the line 12 times. He was the main focal point of the offense, helping the Lakers erase a 15-point deficit in the 2nd half.
“That was my third time playing with them,” Ball said. “It's getting better every game and they know when I get the ball, just run."
These passes aren’t easy. These are 80-foot passes that are right on the money.
What made Wednesday night a bit different was Lonzo opting to not wear his signature Big Baller Brand ZO2s. He and teammate Kyle Kuzma (13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, one steal and one 3-pointer) both worn the Nike Kobe “A.D.” in a purple colorway. Maybe Lonzo should stick to the Kobes to see where it goes.
Nike should revisit on signing Lonzo, or perhaps a Nike x BBB collab? Just. Do. It.
Whether or not Lonzo Ball becomes the “best guard in history” according to his father, one thing is for sure. Lonzo Ball has a gift. His passing and selfless ability to swing the basketball all over the court will get Staples Center up on its feet. Laker Nation, rejoice. Lonzo Ball has really changed the Lakers culture.
Catch the full highlights here below: