The Los Angeles Lakers have bolstered their backcourt by agreeing to a deal with Rajon Rondo, and there has been some talk that he could potentially start over Lonzo Ball in the wake of Ball’s lackluster rookie season. You can probably guess how Ball’s father, LaVar, feels about that.
During an appearance on CNN Wednesday night, LaVar Ball was asked if he was concerned about a potential competition for the starting point guard job between Lonzo and Rondo. The elder Ball subtly referred to Rondo as a “backup.”
“That don’t mean nothing,” Ball said. “(Lonzo) just got another teammate. Another teammate, that’s all. A little backup, that’s good. I never worry about competition because I know my boys are better than that.”
Lonzo Ball averaged 10.2 points and 7.2 assists per game during his rookie season. He’s dealing with a torn meniscus this offseason, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp. While he still has the upper-hand in any potential competition for obvious reasons, there have been reports that Rondo has been told he could earn the starting job.
LaVar Ball has always been loud and proud when it comes to his kids, and he’s not going to change that for Rondo or anyone else. But if LeBron wants Rondo to start and Rondo looks better than Lonzo throughout the summer, the Lakers will have a tough decision to make.
Assuming that he is not traded for Kawhi Leonard or somebody else, Ball will be a key member of the Lakers’ core surrounding James over the next several years. James’ arrival will obviously benefit the 20-year-old’s development as well, as he now has a superstar to help give him more efficient looks, better playmaking opportunities, and championship-proven veteran knowhow.
Lonzo Ball and his camp may be doing all they can to keep him in Los Angeles.
News broke Friday via Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania that the Lakers guard suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee. However, Charania’s report called the injury “minor” and said that Ball was diagnosed at the end of the regular season in April, also adding that he is expected to be ready for training camp.
If the timing here seems at all fishy to you, you just might be onto something.
“From what I understand, this is the same injury he had the PRP [platelet-rich plasma injection] on,” said Shelburne. “I’m surprised that it came out like this and now. The reason I’ll tell you that, guys, is because the Lakers are not in charge of releasing this kind of information during the summertime because there’s like HIPAA laws against it.
“So that was a well-reported story initially, but it had to come from Lonzo and his camp,” she continued. “Why would half the story come out then and more come out now? I don’t know, maybe somebody is worried about getting traded or something. That was strange.”
Indeed, the left knee was the one that gave Ball trouble during his rookie year, costing him a couple dozen games, including the last several of the season. But in any case, Friday’s report came with roughly 36 hours to go before the official start of free agency and with the Lakers being heavily linked to San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in trade rumors. If Ball is worried that he might be dealt, he is definitely not the only young Laker who feels that way.
It sounds like this won’t be a huge deal for the Lakers going forward, but it could have major ramifications on their trade plans. The Lakers are aiming big in the trade market, and Ball has been rumored to be a big part of any potential Kawhi Leonard trade package. Of course, there are other reasons such a deal may not come to pass.
The Los Angeles Lakers apparently have seen enough of Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma’s public roasting of one another.
Throughout the year the two have engaged in a game where they’ve taken joking shots at each other over social media. But after a diss track released by Lonzo on Monday made some headlines and was taken the wrong way, the Lakers asked the two to end their public jabs.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk reported Wednesday that the team spoke to both players and that both players agreed to tone down the joking insults on social media.
One issue is that some people were unfamiliar with the ongoing insults battle between the players, so they thought there was genuine friction between them after the diss track. After the situation the Lakers had with D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young, they don’t want anything else going sideways on social media, which is understandable. And they especially want to present a strong front when recruiting LeBron James.
Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson has some things he wants to see more of from Lonzo Ball next season.
Ball’s rookie season was a mixed bag, as the guard averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists, and 6.9 rebounds per game. Johnson wants to see more in Ball’s second season — both in terms of tangibles and intangibles.
Lonzo Ball was “a master” at setting up teammates, Magic said, but more scoring is needed from him next season.
“Now he has to be selfish,” Magic said. “He has to look to score.”
Perhaps that means Johnson would like to see Ball reverse this recent decision. The Lakers didn’t draft him No. 2 overall for him to be a good passer — they want a franchise player who can score, assist, and lead the team. Nobody should have reasonably expected that from day one, but it’s clear that Johnson will be looking for growth in those departments in the years to come.
Lonzo Ball does not appear to be actively recruiting free agents to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ball had his exit interview with the Lakers on Thursday, a day after his team’s season came to an end. Ball, the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, is viewed as a key player for the Lakers moving forward. But the Lakers would likely need to begin attracting free agents to the team in order to surpass some of the other superior teams in the league.
Ball was asked about that by the media and made it sound like he’s not ardently recruiting players to the team.
Lonzo Ball on his role in attracting free agents: "I just did what I could to help my team. So whether it be LeBron, Paul George or whoever, if they liked it they liked it. If they didn’t, they didn’t. I can’t do anything about it now."
Either Ball is not being truthful to the media, or he’s going to let his play and the team’s pieces speak for themselves. There are a lot of questions about whether Ball’s presence, which includes his controversial father, would be a turnoff to free agents. But we’ve heard from at least one superstar who dismissed that notion.
The Lakers guard also added that the baby’s due date is July 16.
“Yeah it’s crazy,” Ball continued. “My whole family is all boys. We only have like two girls in the whole family. It’s just my mom and her mom. My dad has five brothers (and two sisters), I have my two brothers (obviously). All boys.”
Lonzo Ball’s latest knee injury does not appear to be too serious.
An MRI on Ball’s knee shows that he has a contusion but no other damage, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Thursday. Ball will be questionable for the team’s game at home on Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ball hurt his knee when Dirk Nowitzki backed into him during the third quarter of the Lakers’ win over the Mavericks. He exited the contest and did not return.
Ball missed time in January and February due to a knee injury. He is averaging 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game.
Lonzo Ball is set to undergo an MRI on his knee Thursday.
Ball left Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks in the middle of the third quarter after injuring his knee. Ball seemed to get hurt when he was tangled with Dirk Nowitzki before contesting a shot attempt from Harrison Barnes.
The Los Angeles Lakers point guard exited with what was termed a left knee contusion and did not return. After the game, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said Ball would get an MRI.
Luke Walton says Lonzo will get an MRI tomorrow. He got kneed in the back of the leg. "The doc thinks he's going to be ok," Walton said.
Ball missed time in January and February with a knee injury, so this would understandably give the team some concern.
Prior to his exit, Ball had eight points, four rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes. For the season, Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 7.3 assists and 7 rebounds per game while shooting just 35.9 percent from the field.