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#pounditTuesday, August 3, 2021

Lakers drafted Lonzo Ball for worst reason possible

Lonzo Ball

There were plenty of questions about whether Lonzo Ball was the right fit for the Los Angeles Lakers when they drafted him second overall in 2017, but Magic Johnson was committed to the star point guard from the start. Apparently that had more to do with the story than the skill set.

In a lengthy feature he published this week about the rapid ascendence of LaMelo Ball, Bill Oram of The Athletic shared some interesting information about why the Lakers drafted Lonzo. Let’s just say it’s enough to make fans in L.A. want to rip their hair out.

Lonzo was the first ever pick that Johnson made as president of basketball operations for the Lakers. Sources told Oram that Johnson and Lakers executives focused on Ball because they wanted to make a “grand slam” pick. They believed it would work out because it seemed like a Hollywood script in the making.

“It was looked at from Magic and others’ perspective as being too good of a Hollywood story to pass up,” a source told Oram. “This has to work out because it’s a perfect story. Because it’s Hollywood.”

Another source agreed, adding that “the Hollywood story was the worst thing that could have happened to him looking back.”

That should tell you all you need to know about Magic’s tenure in the Lakers’ front office. There was an uneasy feeling surrounding the Ball pick from the start, especially with all the pressure Johnson heaped on him from Ball’s introductory press conference. Lakers owner Jeanie Buss also had some insane comparisons for Ball right out of the gate.

Ball certainly seems more comfortable in New Orleans, where he is averaging 14.2 points per game with the Pelicans.


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