Lakers News: Lonnie Walker IV Didn’t Lose Confidence Despite Poor Shooting To Start Season
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sharpshooter Matt Ryan garnered a ton of attention and praise for his buzzer-beating shot that sent the Los Angeles Lakers’ game with the New Orleans Pelicans to overtime. But flying somewhat under the radar was the performance of Lonnie Walker IV, who had another excellent outing.

Walker led the Lakers with 28 points, hitting over half of his shots including 5-of-9 from 3-point range in the Lakers’ 120-117 victory. It was a season-high scoring total for Walker and his fifth double-figure scoring outing in his last six games. One would think this would help Walker’s confidence, but the young guard says that’s never been a problem for him.

“My confidence has always been up,” Walker said after the game. “Even when I went 1-for-9. Not feeling any change. When you have players like LeBron and AD and Russ, the game is a lot easier. You’re gonna get a whole bunch of open shots and it’s just all about knocking them down and making the game simple. Having players like that that have your back and continue to boost your confidence up, it goes an even longer way.”

Walker has indeed done an excellent job playing off of his star teammates as the open looks have been there. In fact, in the possession before Ryan’s buzzer-beater, Walker had his own chance to tie the game for the Lakers with an open corner 3, but he missed it and that did not sit well with him.

“I was pissed, those are the shots I live for,” Walker added. “So I wasn’t in my head but I was more so mad that I didn’t knock them down. I was already like ‘alright, we got to get in the gym and shoot tonight’ because I don’t like missing those type of shots, especially wide-open ones.

“So going into overtime I was just locked in and trying to play the right way. Obviously in the corner, it swung my way and before I even caught it I’m like ‘it’s going in.'”

And Walker did just that, opening the scoring in overtime with a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a lead they never relinquished.

One thing that has stood out with Walker is his confidence, regardless of the moment. He is never afraid when he is on the court and it allows him to play with aggression and purpose for this Lakers team. When asked what allows him to play that way, Walker pointed to his upbringing.

“I’m from the hood. I grew up having nothing. So I’m forever blessed, forever grateful,” Walker said. “I give gratitude in the morning and when it’s gametime, I’m ready to play to the best of my capability. I know I put too much time into this game, too much work into this game, two-a-days, three-a-days, I sacrificed a lot of time. So when I’m on the court, I feel like no one can top me.”

So far it is working as he is the Lakers’ third-leading scorer and has not been the defensive liability many assumed he would be. Should this continue, the Lakers may have found themselves a young player worth keeping around for the future.

Walker thankful for advice he received from Pau Gasol while with Spurs

Walker was originally drafted by the San Antonio Spurs where spent the first four years of his career. As a rookie, he was teammates with beloved former Laker Pau Gasol and Walker was extremely thankful for the advice he received from the big man.

Walker spoke about Gasol really helping him after he tore his meniscus during that rookie season, noting that the Spaniard helped to keep his confidence up and get him through the recovery process.

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