Lonzo Ball, who became a fan favorite in his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, ended up being one of the pieces moved in the blockbuster trade that brought Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. Ball was moved along with Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple draft picks.
As a constant reminder, the NBA is a business and no one was more familiar of that concept than Ball.
Before the trade, Ball was in a legal battle with his former mentor and Big Baller Brand consultant, Alan Foster. It’s things like this that almost made Lakers fans happy when he got traded. Not because they didn’t like Ball, but because this would be the perfect opportunity for him to get a fresh start with a young and exciting team.
This is similar to how Ball himself felt about the deal, saying that he was ‘excited’ about the trade and he was glad he was comfortable with the people going to the Pelicans with him, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“I was kind of excited, honestly,” Ball told ESPN of his first reaction to the trade, after filming Saturday for the PUBG Mobile Team Up Superstar Showdown event. “I kind of figured someone was going to get moved soon enough. I knew Anthony Davis wanted to come bad. Anytime you can get a guy like that, you are going to have to do what you have to do to get him. So I was kind of already just waiting for it, honestly, and I was happy to go with two guys I am comfortable with in B.I. [Brandon Ingram] and JHart [Josh Hart]. I am excited to see what we can do.
After the Foster situation, Ball likely better understood the business side of it all. This is likely why he says that he reacted better to the trade now than he would have if it happened his rookie year:
“I tell people when I was a rookie, I probably would have been sad,” Ball added of being traded. “Just being from L.A., having my whole family here and wanting to be a Laker. But being in the league for two years, knowing it’s a business, as long you get to play, that’s a blessing in itself. I’m excited to get started.”
Ball seems to have matured infinitely very early on in his career. And it’s something that likely will help him stick around in the NBA, beyond just his incredible talent.
Lakers fans will obviously miss Ball, but both he and everyone else in this situation understands why the Lakers had to make this deal, and it will be fascinating to see how his career pans out in New Orleans.