When discussing the greatest players to ever suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers, the argument usually boils down to Kobe Bryant vs. Magic Johnson. The Lakers are certainly hoping that rookie point guard Lonzo Ball one day joins that list.
The expectations on the rookie are extremely high as his father LaVar has has made a number of statements about how good his son will be including proclaiming the Rookie of the Year award as a ‘done deal.’ Johnson would add on at Lonzo’s introductory press conference, saying that he expects to see Lonzo’s jersey hanging in the rafters one day.
Now Lakers president Jeanie Buss is getting into the mix. Buss appeared on the Petros and Money Show and AM 570 LA Radio and said that Kobe Bryant is the only other rookie to have as much excitement surrounding him as Ball:
“No other draft pick, except maybe Kobe Bryant, has had this kind of excitement about him.”
Buss would continue on about the rookie, calling him special and comparing what he brings to the Lakers to Magic himself:
“There’s something special about Lonzo […] I think because he just wants to play basketball, he’s selfless. He has a certain charisma and I think the fact that his teammates at UCLA loved playing with him and all the nice things that they have to say about him, I think he’s going to bring an element that’s very similar to Magic Johnson.”
The great thing about Ball so far is that he seems completely unfazed by the extreme expectations that are constantly being placed upon him. He is merely focused on getting better and performing, not paying any mind to what people are saying.
Regardless of whether he’s listening or not, the fans will be expecting a lot from Lonzo as he and Brandon Ingram look to lead the franchise into the next era of basketball. If Lonzo is able to bring the Lakers back to championship level, he very well could be mentioned with the likes of Magic and Kobe.