From the moment Lonzo Ball became a national sensation at UCLA and all the way up through the NBA Draft process, he has drawn comparisons to some of the greatest point guards of all-time. One of the most common ones is to current Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd.
Much like Ball, Kidd had major struggles shooting the ball coming into the NBA, but was an excellent playmaker and solid rebounder from his position. Both are also at their best in transition so the comparisons make sense.
Kidd, however, thinks the comparisons may be a bit premature. In an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Kidd called the Ball comparisons to himself a stretch and says Ball has a lot of developing to do (transcription via AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today Sports):
“The first thing (when making those comparisons) — does someone play hard for 48 minutes and are you willing to do anything to win?” Kidd said. ” … He has to understand what it means to play hard and what it means to win and how to win at the highest level. It takes time. Hopefully, in three years, maybe there is a better comparison. But right now, it is a stretch, and he has a ways to go.”
Ball certainly has a long ways to go as Kidd is a future Hall of Famer, but their struggles early in their career are very similar. In his rookie season Kidd averaged 11.7 points, 7.7 assists, and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 27.2 percent from deep.
Ball is actually posting similar numbers, currently averaging 8.8 points, 6.8 assists, and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 29.5 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from deep. His shooting struggles are certainly concerning, but Ball believes it is a mental issue that can be fixed. Meanwhile he continues to find other ways to make an impact.
Kidd eventually turned into a reliable shooter later in his career and finished in the top-10 all-time in three-pointers made. Time will tell if Ball’s career will follow the same path, but Ball has the work ethic to grow and develop into everything the Lakers want.
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