As a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2017-18 NBA season, Lonzo Ball nearly averaged a triple-double. While Ball’s shooting form and percentages were heavily criticized, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka challenged him to improve physically instead.
After missing 30 games due to various injuries, the 20-year-old eventually underwent left knee surgery during the offseason. While Ball was not able to participate in five-on-five scrimmages when training camp opened, he has since been cleared for full contact.
Although it will take time for Ball to get in shape, he has already noticed the benefits of getting stronger and watching film. “Definitely still a little rusty,” Ball said of his return. “But as far as film and weights, I feel good (on the court).
“I’m definitely a lot stronger than I was last year. It’s just easier going through the paint, checking people.”
For Ball, the top priority is staying relatively healthy so he can find a rhythm. While it appeared Ball changed his shooting form during the offseason, he does not believe much has changed but credited his improved strength.
As Ball plays the most challenging position in today’s league, the Lakers did their part by signing Rajon Rondo. While there will be competition between the two players, Rondo’s experience will tremendously help Ball’s development as they have watched film together.