The Los Angeles Lakers made point guard Lonzo Ball the second overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. For many he was always the obvious choice, but heading into the draft there seemed to be a very real possibility that the Lakers could choose someone else.
Feeding into that belief was Ball’s reportedly less than stellar initial workout with the team. One issue was that Ball was believed to be out of shape for the meeting.
Ball would get a second meeting with the team and wanted to showthem that his conditioning was not an issue. According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Ball admitted to being sick during that first workout:
For Lonzo, the workout portion was as much about normalcy as it was validation. Ball admittedly was sick during his first workout with the Lakers on June 7, but believed his body and adrenaline would negate any weakness. For his second workout, Ball was healthy and the spirit of competition filled him.
The new Lakers regime have made it a point to focus on fitness and conditioning, imploring their players to get in the best shape of their lives. As such, a big part of their individual workouts focused on seeing just how good shape each draft prospect was in as well.
Ball struggling on a normal day would’ve made sense, but dealing with a sickness undoubtedly made things even more difficult for him. Thankfully he was able to redeem himself in the follow-up workout that took place at his home in Chino Hills.
Regardless of what happened on that day, Ball did enough to convince the Lakers to bring him on as the point guard of the future. President of basketball operations Magic Johnson has some high expectations for Ball, but he sounds intent on reaching all of the goals set in front of him.