It might not be ZoTime for now, but it will certainly be at some point. Lonzo Ball has had a ill-fated start to life in the NBA. Injuries have plagued his first two NBA seasons. Lonzo Ball’s stats show that when he does play, he has the ability to change games and guide team to championship titles. It is only a matter of remaining fit that is holding back his name being known nationwide.
Lonzo Ball has been setting records throughout his early career in school and college. He continued to do so in the NBA even though he has only played 40% of the games in the last two seasons with the LA Lakers. The NBA Lakers stats he achieved are remarkable when compared to other players he shares the records with.
Lonzo Ball has been praised by fans and greats such as Magic Johnson. The question on Lakers fans’ lips after the 2019 NBA Draft was: Is Lonzo Ball still on the Lakers roster? The Lakers news came in with a ‘no’. He begins this coming season with the New Orleans Pelicans. Where did it all begin for Lonzo Ball? To understand his background we need to go back to school.
Lonzo Ball was born in Anaheim, California. His parents were both college basketball players and he was constantly spending time around the courts. When Ball was six, he met LeBron James, who was a young NBA player with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This was not a serendipitous event. Even though the two would later be teammates at the for the LA Lakers, they couldn’t form as strong a connection on the court.
Lonzo Ball was coached by his father In his younger school years. He played in teams alongside his brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo. In high school, he attended Chino Hills High School in California. In his junior year he began to raise eyebrows with his stats. He averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 blocks and 5 steals per game.
In his senior year, Chino Hills High School were ranked the best school team in the US. Ball inspired the team to a 35-0 record and the state title. Ball’s stats were better than in his junior year. He averaged a triple-double of 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.7 assists during the season.
Lonzo Ball’s performance was widely praised and recognized. He won the Morgan Wootten National Player of the Year, the Naismith Prep Player of the Year, Mr Basketball USA, and the USA Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year. As a result, Ball was a five-star recruit for colleges to try and secure.
Lonzo Ball’s college career continued to grow his reputation. Born and raised in California, he decided to go to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In college, Ball grew his reputation as a creative playmaker. Ball had the most assists in the college league, with the UCLA Bruins becoming the highest scoring offense in the country.
That season, the UCLA Bruins were eliminated in the Sweet 16 to Kentucky. Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game. He recorded some notable performances. He broke Gary Payton’s record 30 year PAC-12 record for most assists in a season by a freshman. Ultimately with 274 assists, he would end the season with the second highest assist tally ever by a PAC-12 player.
While the Bruins didn’t win the championship, Ball was a unanimous selection for the NCAA Men’s Basketball All-American first team. His performances earned him the Wayman Tisdale Award, as well as a finalist for the Wooden Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Naismith College Player of the year. He was the only freshman amongst the finalists.
Having spent his schooling and college career in California, it is not surprising that many expected Lonzo Ball to become a Lakers guard after his one-and-done college career.
Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball was drafted to the LA Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft. The news was well received by many Lakers fans who felt they might have a future star on their roster. Magic Johnson went as far as to call him the new face of the Lakers. To keep up to date with all the latest Lakers news, visit the Lakerholicz website, which is now partnered with BetMGM.
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In his rookie season with the Lakers, Lonzo Ball played 52 games. He missed the remaining games of the Lakers schedule through knee and shoulder injuries. He started the season well, scoring a career-high 29 points in his second game. In the same game he recorded 11 rebounds and 9 assists. Had he got to ten assists he would have been the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double. He did achieve a triple double later in the season, breaking LeBron James’ record as the youngest player to do so. This record has subsequently been broken. He is one of six NBA players to have ever recorded three triple doubles in their first 20 NBA games. Ball ended his rookie season with an average of 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 6.9 rebounds.
In his second season with the Lakers, Lonzo Ball played 47 games. The signing of LeBron James took some of the pressure off Ball, but he still struggled through injury. While recovering from his knee surgery, he bulked up his upper body to give more strength to his defense.
James and Ball both achieved a triple double against the Charlotte Hornets. The last Lakers teammates to achieve this were Magic Johnson and Kareem Adbul-Jabbar. An ankle injury in January 2019 was worse than expected, and surgery was required which put Lonzo Ball out for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately for fans (and Lonzo Ball), the Lakers did not see ZoTime materialize. A push to return to the NBA Playoffs made the Lakers trade Lonzo Ball, along with cash and other players, to the New Orleans Pelicans in return for Anthony Davis.
New Orleans Pelicans
In July 2019, Lonzo Ball was a post-draft trade to the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans trade included Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, with Anthony Davis heading to the Staples Centre.
The Pelicans will be hoping that the New Orleans air will keep Lonzo Ball injury free. If he can remain injury free, there is no doubt that the New Orleans Pelicans have a highly talented NBA player on their roster. With a Pelicans roster including Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball’s passing could create a potent attacking offense.
Lonzo Ball’s stats show his potential to push on with the New Orleans Pelicans. His NBA career averages 10 points, 6.4 assists, 6 blocks, and 6.2 rebounds per game. With his assists stats promising to climb with seeing more of the ball, ZoTime might still be scheduled to show.