When Magic Johnson solidified the trade of D’Angelo Russell, then drafted Lonzo Ball in the summer of 2017, it was believed that Lonzo would be the next great PG to wear a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. Magic even believed so himself.
“I’m going to put a little pressure on you right now, you look to your right, there’s some jerseys hanging on that wall. We expect a Ball jersey hanging up there one day, all right? Good, he once told Ball.
Two injury-laden seasons later those assertions suddenly sound absurd. With the Lakers trading Lonzo Ball to acquire Anthony Davis, and Magic Johnson stepping down amidst distrust within the Lakers, the two men who were expected to lead the Lakers back to glory are no longer with the organization.
Lonzo now believes he can lead another team to glory, his new team, the New Orleans Pelicans. Ball spoke with ESPN and said that he was more than happy with the trade, and that he had been expecting the news to come for some time now.
“I was kind of excited, honestly, I kind of figured someone was going to get moved soon enough. I knew Anthony Davis wanted to come bad. Anytime you can get a guy like that, you are going to have to do what you have to do to get him. So I was kind of already just waiting for it, honestly, and I was happy to go with two guys I am comfortable with in B.I. (Brandon Ingram) and JHart (Josh Hart). I am excited to see what we can do.”
Lonzo Ball goes on to admit that this trade would have probably had an adverse effect on him when he was a rookie, but being in the league for two years helped him realize, that it’s all business. He also said he didn’t take the trade personal.
When asked about his soon to be teammate, Zion Williamson, Ball was very complimentary.
“Man, I’ve never seen somebody that size move like him… He’s definitely a freak. I’ve never seen nothing like it.”
Ball continued to talk about how their games will fit together perfectly.
“Honestly, you just got to run the lane, set screens and roll,” Ball added of Williamson. “With his game and with him getting a full head of steam, it’s going to be very tough to stop him. So I think we play fast and get out on the break as soon as possible.”
Lonzo Ball hasn’t yet been cleared for full contact following his ankle injury suffered in January. The oldest of the three ball brothers hopes he can be cleared within the next two weeks.