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Kevin Durant hits the nail on the head on Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball: ‘I like him. He a problem’

Kevin Durant, Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball is getting a new lifeline after being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, now able to kickstart his career after two disappointing years with the Los Angeles Lakers. Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant noted Ball has been the victim of a hype train his father LaVar built, but players don’t really have a reason to hate on him, given how he behaves on the court.

The former MVP talked to former NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the Knuckleheads podcast of The Players Tribune, noting how much there is to like about his game.

“I really think Lonzo could be pretty good too,” said Durant. “I held him to such a high standard when he got into the league. I had to realize what he was as a player — he was just a do-everything. You don’t notice he’s out there until he makes a flashy pass. Outside of that he’s just going to play solid, play defense, make the right plays, never complain, never argue to the refs, never distract you.

“I think his value — a lot of people put stick in what his father said coming into the league, the hype that his father put on him.”

Ball has turned it around in merely a few months of being with the Pelicans, already restructuring his jump shot and showing the effects of that change, now a much more confident shooter from the perimeter and from the stripe.

The third-year point guard put up eight points, five rebounds, and five assists in his Pelicans debut against the Toronto Raptors, striping two of his three long balls on Tuesday.

Ball has distanced himself from the comments of his father soon after Big Baller Brand declared for bankruptcy after a recent scandal. Since, the 6-foot-6 floor general has been more productive with his offseason and more focused on his basketball goals.

“I had to stop listening to everybody else,” said Durant of Ball. “I’m like ‘let me just sit here and analyze this dude.’ He’s subtle with it, he’ll take you out all your action from just playing hard as s**t. Dudes don’t do that no more. He’ll pick you up and get in the passing lane and just turn the whole game.

“I like him. He a problem.”

Ball has likely never had a better endorsement than the one Durant just gave him, which speaks to how he will be able to quickly progress in the league with so many players cheering for his future.