Very few players have ever come into the league under more pressure than Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. Thanks to his play, and the bold words of his father LaVar Ball, as well as Magic Johnson, there already seems to be a target on his back.
This of course led to plenty of discussion and concern after Ball’s less than stellar Lakers debut Thursday night. Ball, hounded by defensive menace Patrick Beverley all night, made just one of his six shots, finishing with three points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
Lonzo had plenty of family there to view his first night in purple and gold, including LaVar. After the game Lonzo spoke with his father and LaVar revealed what he told his son to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:
“They don’t want to see you shoot 1-for-6. They don’t want to shoot six shots. They would rather see you shoot 6 out of 25. And the only way you’re going to do that is making them fear you. You have to put the ball in the hole. But you got to make your team understand that you’re not just out there shooting. Make everybody go. The building is too quiet for too long at a time.”
This has been a concern many have had about Ball. He struggles to score, especially in the halfcourt, and can look to pass too much at times. At this level teams will begin playing him to pass and he will have to be more aggressive scoring in order to open up passing lanes.
It is only game one so there is plenty of time for Ball to get accustomed to the NBA game and figure out how to better balance his scoring and passing. That starts tonight as Ball and the Lakers head to Phoenix to play the Suns.