Lonzo Ball was named the Las Vegas Summer League MVP and in the process has proven his father, LaVar Ball, and the Los Angeles Lakers right. Lonzo had a shaky start, but looked every bit a star over his last few games. The important thing is that he brought glory and interest to the Lakers for the first time since the Pau Gasol era.
The shooting wasn’t there (10-of-42 from 3), but he looked great getting to the rim and finishing to the tune of 16.3 points a game. Most importantly, the rebounding (7.7) was real and the passing was spectacular (9.3). All three of those numbers are better than what LeBron James did in Summer League back in 2003. Lonzo was even good enough to bring King James out to a game – along with a record number of other fans.
There will of course be detractors. Was he ducking De’Aaron Fox? How could a little injury keep him from a championship game!? Then there’s this tweet that points out that Summer League MVP isn’t that important.
Turns outs some players play well sometimes and some don’t play well sometimes. The New York Times is all over that story line.
Should we expect a similar tweet if Lonzo wins Rookie of the Year?
Another mixed bag. Russell Westbrook won the regular season MVP and the Thunder lost in the first round. Does that mean the NBA MVP doesn’t mean anything?
Then there’s the New York Post’s funniest headline in years, “Lakers’ other rookie almost stole Lonzo Ball’s spotlight.” They’re talking about Kyle “Nameless Other Rookie” Kuzma, the 27th pick in the draft who averaged 16 and 9 at Utah last season. Kuzma was tremendous, averaging 21.9 points on 51% shooting to go along with 6.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks. He came nowhere near stealing headlines from Lonzo Ball.
All to the credit of LaVar Ball who finally unleashed his son on the NBA, but also loosened his grip on his wardrobe choices. Lonzo will get a real shoe contract at some point because he could be so good it’s worth dealing with his dad. Will Big Baller Brand be anything more than a business that failed to get funding on Shark Tank? It won’t matter if Lonzo is this good. And it appears he is.