Los Angeles Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson has spoken about how he hopes the team playing an enjoyable style of basketball might help them attract free agents next offseason. Former Lakers forward A.C. Green thinks rookie Lonzo Ball could do more than that.
In an exclusive interview, Green told Lakers Nation that he thinks Ball will evoke memories of a certain Hall-of-Famer he played alongside that now runs the team:
“I think he’s exciting to play with and also to have on the team. I think when you have a pass-first point guard, it obviously makes me think of Magic and playing with him. Pretty phenomenal from that standpoint.”
The NBA doesn’t need to get Ball’s place in the Hall of Fame built just yet, but he does compare favorably to his new boss in a few ways. Both are bigger point guards, although Johnson was significantly larger than Ball. The two also both appeared to be game-changing passers with unparalleled court vision and accuracy entering the league. That appearance ending up proving true for Johnson, although it remains to be seen how effective Ball will be at the pro level.
For Green to make the comparison means something, though, because it’s coming from a player who not only watched Johnson up-close-and-personal but also caught more than a few of his pinpoint passes.
If Green thinks playing with Ball will be anything like playing with Johnson, then the Lakers will not only have the type of exciting basketball they’re hoping for on their hands, but also the type of player who can help lead the Lakers back to title contention eventually, with or without any big name free agents.
This type of talk leaves Ball with some big shoes to fill, but living up to huge comparisons is nothing new for him. He’s done so at every level of basketball so far, and he just has the final one to go.