The Los Angeles Lakers front office sent a clear message to Lonzo Ball after he completed his rookie season. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka both challenged the point guard to embrace the challenge of improving.
Johnson deemed the offseason the biggest of Ball’s life. Although plenty of attention was given to Ball’s shooting struggles, the Lakers dismissed a need for a change to his shooting form. Instead, the organization wanted to see overall dedication in the weight room and to every facet of his game.
Two months removed from the regular season concluding, Ball hasn’t disappointed. “I’ve really seen Lonzo emerge as a young man this offseason,” Pelinka said after discussing the Lakers’ selections in the 2018 NBA Draft.
“He’ll come up to the office and come in and sit down to have a direct conversation about his goals and what he wants to do, the trainers he wants to work with, the things in his game he wants to work on. That’s probably one of the things Magic, Luke and I are really proud of right now.”
In addition to approaching the Lakers about his workouts, Ball has also taken to studying film with Johnson. “He came to Magic and said, ‘I’d like to start watching film with you once a week. Just to learn,'” Pelinka revealed. “So Magic, myself and Lonzo have been in our film room once a week for an hour, doing sessions.”
Lakers head coach Luke Walton echoed Pelinka’s remarks, adding he is pleased with every member of the team’s young core. “They’re in the weight room every day,” Walton said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Shoulder and knee injuries limited Ball to just 52 games (50 starts) but he nonetheless was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Ball averaged 10.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.7 steals.
He finished the season tied for first among all rookies in steals, while ranking second in assists and fourth in rebounds.
As part of our efforts to help you understand how we handle the personal information you share with us, and in preparation for the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), we’ve updated our Privacy & Cookies Policy. The updated Privacy & Cookies Policy will take effect on May 22, 2018. By using our services on or after that date, you’ll be agreeing to our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy. We recommend that you read our updated Privacy & Cookies Policy in full.