In the final seconds of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets over the weekend, guard Jamal Murray made some headlines by dribbling in a circle around rookie Lonzo Ball.
Lakers head coach Luke Walton later called the act ‘immature,’ while Murray himself admitted that he may have taken it a little too far and got caught up in the emotions of the game. One person who wasn’t bothered by it was Ball.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, Ball said he didn’t pay any attention to Murray’s move and understands that players are trying to get under his skin:
“My back was turned (on Murray when he pulled his stunt), but I really don’t pay no mind to it,” Ball said. “I don’t feed into it. I know everybody’s trying to get under my skin and stuff, but I don’t let it get to me. I came in expecting everything, pretty much. Nothing has really been out of (what he was expecting), so it’s cool.”
Ball has had a target on his back from the moment he stepped foot on an NBA floor. Thanks to the constant hype created by his father LaVar, many have looked to shut down Lonzo in order to shut up LaVar.
Lonzo has handled everything in stride however, never getting riled up by anyone and maintaining a calm demeanor through any intimidation attempts, as well as his own struggles. In other words, Lonzo has been the complete opposite of his father.
The ability to not get too high or too low is an important one for Ball, who has a spotlight on him that no player, aside from possibly LeBron James, has ever experienced. This won’t be the last time someone tries to do something like this and in all likelihood, Ball’s response will be the same.
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