Lakers Practice Notes & Video: Lonzo Ball ‘More Vocal’ Since Shoulder Injury

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball was back at practice on Thursday morning and participated in a full-contact practice for the first time since spraining his left shoulder on Dec. 23. Ball admitted his shoulder felt a little sore after taking quite a bit of contact at practice, but called the pain ‘manageable’ and hopes he’s cleared for Friday night’s game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton also said that Ball looked great at practice and that neither his ball handling nor his shooting seemed affected. “All positive signs,” Walton said.

A potential silver lining to Ball’s recent injury, which has had him sidelined for the past six games, is his vocal leadership.

“I think it got me more vocal, because that’s pretty much all I can contribute when I’m just watching so that definitely helped me out in that area,” Ball said.

Ball also said his teammates have been very receptive and encouraging towards his leadership, despite him being just 20 years old.

“They all tell me to speak up, and they all listen so that’s a good thing,” Ball said of his teammates. “They make it very easy.”

The Lakers have not won a game since Ball’s been sidelined and are currently on an eight-game losing streak, which was capped off by a 37-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Despite the visible disappointment and frustration after their worst loss of the season, Walton still isn’t worried about keeping players from getting discouraged.

“To me, it always comes back to hard work and honesty with what we’re doing. When you work hard and you have a group that is believing in themselves, it will fix itself. It is hard, it is frustrating,” Walton said.

“But until I come into practice and see our guys decided to stop working hard, that’s when I’ll be worried, and that’s not the case with us. Come in today, and it was as competitive as it’s been since day one, so we’ll be fine.”

The Lakers (11-26) play their second game of a five-game homestand on Friday night against the Hornets (14-23).

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

NBA Releases Full Pre-Season Schedule With 8 International Games

On Thursday, the NBA released its full preseason schedule which includes 116…

Lakers News: Luke Walton Emphasizing Improvement In Transition Defense

Last season the Los Angeles Lakers boasted a strong defensive team that would’ve ranked higher than 13th had they not dealt with a rash of injuries to close out…

Lakers News: Brook Lopez Comes In At No. 51 In ESPN’s #NBArank

Los Angeles Lakers new center Brook Lopez was ranked the 51st best player in the NBA according to ESPN’s #NBArank making him the highest ranked Laker…

Lakers News: Luke Walton Believes Turnovers Were Biggest Problem In Loss To Raptors

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton believes turnovers were the biggest problem in their 102-99 loss to the Toronto Raptors…