Lakers news: LaVar Ball’s early basketball lesson paying off for what Luke Walton wants out of Lonzo Ball
Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball is taking the lessons instilled in him from an early age from his father LaVar and putting them into action in his first year with the team, adhering to the fast-pace tempo that head coach Luke Walton is stressing into his players.
L.A. boasts plenty of young players, which Walton would like to see run up and down the court, making the youth its advantage with fresh legs to travel end-to-end. As far as Ball, Walton won’t have to tell him twice.
“Luke Walton wants to play fast and I feel like the NBA is becoming a faster game every year,” Ball told Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. “The way I play, getting my teammates the ball, just doing whatever I can to help the team win. I feel like I’m different than the some of the point guards the NBA is used to, but I feel I can still be effective.”
Ball will have some difficulties adjusting to the physicality and other factors of the NBA game, but pace won’t be one of them, as he seems constantly aware of where his teammates are in each area of the court, making that an innate skill he’ll likely carry on with him for the rest of his career.
“From a young age that’s one of the first things my dad taught me, the ball always travels faster than a person,” Ball said. “I mean, I don’t find it necessary to dribble up the court if you can kick it ahead for an easier bucket. Especially in less time. So it just makes more sense to me to kick it up.”
The Chino Hills native will count with the spry legs of Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and a willing trailer in Brook Lopez to get easy scoring opportunities in transition, making it only a matter of time before the next version of Showtime is back in the City of Angels.