Lakers News: Lonzo Ball Says Tyler Ennis Has Been Helping Him On And Off The Court
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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Lonzo Ball has been touted as the Los Angeles Lakers’ point guard of the future since basically the moment he was taken second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean the future is now. Ball still has plenty to learn before he’s ready to live up to those lofty expectations.

To help Ball and the rest of the Lakers’ young core grow, Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka stocked the roster with steady professionals like Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and there were rumors throughout the summer that the team would ultimately sign a veteran point guard to take Ball under his wing.

That veteran point guard signing seemed to no longer be a possibility when the front office decided to re-sign 23-year-old Tyler Ennis as their back-up point guard instead, but after the Lakers’ Friday practice Ball made it sound like Ennis has been that veteran presence for him in addition to showing quite a bit on the floor as well (via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters):

Ennis may be young, but he does have more NBA experience than many players his age after making his NBA debut at age 20. He’s also seen how quickly a player can go from a coveted first round pick to an afterthought after being shipped out of Phoenix midway through his first season before stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets that resulted in him being essentially given to the Lakers as a throwaway at the 2017 trade deadline.

Ennis could’ve given up at that point, but he instead seized the opportunity he was given by the Lakers and head coach Luke Walton down the stretch last season, averaging career-highs of 7.7 points and 2.4 assists to close the season in Los Angeles. He also demonstrated the type of professionalism and talent Ball now says is being passed along to him.

It’s still not exactly an NBA norm for a 23-year-old to be looked upon as a player’s veteran mentor, but the Lakers are an especially young team, and Ennis does appear to be thriving both on the court, where his head coach called him one of the biggest surprises of training camp, as well as off the court, where he’s demonstrated the types of skills Ball spoke about.

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