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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball out 4-to-6 weeks with left ankle sprain

Lonzo Ball ankle injury

The Los Angeles Lakers got very bad news about one of their young stars.

The team announced Sunday that point guard Lonzo Ball will miss 4-to-6 weeks with a grade three ankle sprain sustained during Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

Though X-rays turned out negative, the MRI revealed a pretty serious injury. Grade three is the most severe ankle sprain, so this is a pretty bad one that should keep him out perhaps until March. The most optimistic scenario likely brings him back into the fold shortly after the All-Star break, but a lot probably has to go right for that to happen.

Report: X-rays on Lonzo Ball’s ankle turn up negative

Lonzo Ball ankle injury

There is a sliver of good news for the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the injury status of Lonzo Ball.

X-rays on Ball’s left ankle were negative, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli, meaning there is no fracture.

Ball rolled his left ankle after colliding with James Ennis on a drive to the basket in the third quarter of the Lakers’ loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night. He had to be carried off the court by his teammates.

Ball has dealt with multiple injuries to his left ankle since entering the NBA. He has sprained his left ankle four times since playing for the Lakers.

Lonzo Ball gets X-rays on ankle after suffering injury

Lonzo Ball ankle injury

Lonzo Ball left Saturday night’s Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets game after rolling his ankle in the third quarter.

Lonzo was driving and kicked out to a teammate. As he passed the ball, he collided with James Ennis and rolled his left ankle, collapsing to the floor.

Ball was in pain and had to be carried off the court by two teammates. ESPN’s Lisa Salters says Ball was put in a wheelchair and taken into the X-ray room.

No long thereafter, Lakers coach Luke Walton was ejected for complaining to the officials. He thought Ennis should have been called for a foul on the play where Ball was hurt.

Ball had 8 points and 11 assists prior to suffering the injury.

This is a rough time for him to be injured. The Lakers are already without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, leaving them thin at point guard.

Lonzo Ball shares recommendation for new UCLA coach

Lonzo Ball

As one of the school’s most prominent current NBA players, one would expect Lonzo Ball to have some opinions on UCLA’s coaching search, and that is the case.

Ball believes that former UCLA guard and ex-Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson should be the school’s next permanent coach, citing his ties to the school and NBA experience.

Watson spent parts of three seasons as Phoenix coach, going 33-85. While he does have strong ties to the school, it might not be the track record of success that the fans might be seeking.

Watson was actually linked to the UCLA job about a year and a half ago when he was still coaching the Suns. There are no indications that he’s yet a candidate this time around, even though Ball wants him to be.

Report: Lonzo Ball will remain Lakers’ starting point guard

Lonzo Ball

At least for the moment, Lonzo Ball has wrestled the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting point guard job away from Rajon Rondo.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Ball will remain in the starting lineup even after Rondo returns from his three-game suspension. Rondo is eligible to return on Saturday, but he will do so off the bench.

Rondo started the first two games of the season, both Laker losses. He averaged a double-double in those games, but the Lakers have performed better with Ball on the floor. They’re 2-1 with him in the lineup, and he’s provided 12.7 points, 7.3 assists, and 7 rebounds per game during that period. The team also has no concerns about his knee, which he had surgery on during the offseason but has since returned to full strength.

Rondo’s on-court conduct was poor and his off-court conduct has come under scrutiny as well. That’s not why the Lakers are benching him, but it probably doesn’t help. They’ve just performed better with Ball at the point and they’re going to keep him there as long as it stays that way.

Luke Walton ‘shocked’ at how good Lonzo Ball looked in practice

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball is working his way back from a knee injury and has already impressed Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

Ball underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in July to address issues that sidelined him at times last season. On Thursday, he practiced in full for the Lakers for the first time since they opened up training camp. A day later, Walton was praising Ball for looking so good.

Ball is unlikely to play in the team’s preseason opener, but these statements are positive signs for the Lakers considering Ball hasn’t been able to do full-on training.

Ball was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft and had a shaky rookie season. Not only was he limited to 52 games because of his knee, but he experienced shooting woes, making just 36 percent of his field goals and 45.1 percent of his free throws. Those are numbers he needs to show vast improvement on if he wants to be an impact player in the league.

Isaiah Thomas does not think Lonzo Ball’s shot can be fixed

Isaiah Thomas

Much ado has been made about Lonzo Ball’s unorthodox jumper, and now one of his former teammates says he does not think the shot can be fixed.

Isaiah Thomas joined “Tiki and Tierney” on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network Thursday. Thomas discussed many subjects, including his most recent team — the Los Angeles Lakers. He had high praise for Ball, whom he called special, but he thinks Lonzo’s jump shot cannot be fixed.

“Lonzo is a great kid. I don’t think they’re going to be able to fix his jump shot but they can work with him and get it better than how it is right now,” Thomas told the hosts. “He’s a talented, talented young player that’s going to be special in this league because he has the tools to be special.”

Thomas talked about many other topics around the league. He said he felt he returned from his hip injury earlier than he should have and said it was smart of Kawhi Leonard not to rush back.

Thomas also said the Cleveland Cavaliers did not give enough of a chance to see if the team could have fit well together before blowing it up at the trade deadline with sweeping changes.

“It just didn’t fit for whatever reason. But at the same time, we didn’t give it enough time to fit,” Thomas said. “I only played 13 or 14 games coming off seven months of sitting out to a while new situation, a whole new team, organization – players I’ve never played with.”

Thomas, 29, will look to make an impression this upcoming season with his new team, the Denver Nuggets. He signed a one-year deal with them in free agency. Both sides are hoping he is beyond his hip injuries.

Lonzo Ball to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery

Lonzo Ball

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, the team announced.

The Lakers said Ball will undergo the procedure on Tuesday, and further updates will be provided at that time.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported that the expectation is that Ball will still be ready for training camp.

There was some speculation that Ball’s camp leaked news of this early to try to impact any potential trade negotiations that could see him leave the Lakers. The team is now confirming it, and while not ideal, it doesn’t sound like he’ll miss any time.

LaVar Ball: Rajon Rondo will be ‘backup’ to Lonzo Ball

LaVar Ball Lakers

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.

Lonzo Ball reacts to LeBron James coming to Lakers

Lonzo Ball

The King is headed to Los Angeles to join forces with the Big Baller Brand, and Lonzo Ball could not be happier about it.

Just minutes after word broke on Sunday that LeBron James was signing a four-year deal with the Lakers, Ball tweeted his elated reaction to the news.

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma also had some giddy tweets welcoming James.

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.

Of course, Ball’s father LaVar had been outspoken over the last few months about his prediction that James would sign with the Lakers, so add yet another item to the list of things that were spoken into existence.