Defying long odds, Lonzo Ball is actually cashing the checks his father’s mouth so willingly signed over the last several months. The No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft has been everything the Los Angeles Lakers could have wanted and more, averaging 16.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 9.2 assists during Summer League play. In addition to the empirical data, he’s shown flashes of brilliance and beautiful teammate-first basketball — the attractive, bottom-line-boosting aspect of his personal brand.
Ball showcased his court vision and instincts in Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks by authoring a sweet slap pass to a streaking Alex Caruso for two easy points. It was the kind of thing that could make a basketball fan swoon, and a Lakers fan feel something even more powerful.
The younger Ball was always going to relegate the family patriarch to second fiddle with his play. And, depending who you ask, that could be a very good thing. It’s striking how fast the process has moved but, then again, actions speak louder than words.