The 2017 NBA Draft was a major stepping-stone for the front office duo of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka, with four draft selections under their belts. While Lonzo Ball was the obvious choice, the Lakers also drafted Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart in the first round, while drafting Thomas Bryant in the second round.
The Lakers then had a superb showing at the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, hoisting the championship trophy in the end. Kuzma was named Finals MVP, while Ball was promptly awarded the Summer League MVP award. Since then, the rookies have been hard at work, adjusting towards their first official NBA season and training camp.
Part of being a rookie involves participating in the rookie events, such as the NBA rookie photo shoot. During the event, Hart and Ball were able to answer some NBA trivia questions, alongside the 2017-18 rookie draft class. Ball was first up, taking a stab at the Lakers all-time leader in steals:
“The all-time leader in steals for the Lakers is I don’t know. Byron Scott? Michael Cooper? Gary Payton? I don’t know. Kobe. Kobe? Word? He played 20 years. I mean yeah I guess.”
The franchise leader in steals did catch Ball of guard, in understandable fashion. While Bryant was never known as a deceptive steals artist, they certainly racked up throughout his career. Bryant finished his career with 1,944 steals, while Johnson finished second with 1,724. Cooper, Scott and teammate James Worthy all finished their career just under 1,100 steals.
Hart was up next, falling victim to some confusion from the question. When asked what year NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came into office, Hart stumbled before realizing he was thinking about his predecessor:
“99? 2007? 2011? 2012? Oh, Adam Silver. Dang. I was thinking about David Stern. 2016? 2015? 2014? I had no idea. I butchered that one. You might just have to cut that. That was terrible.”
Both of the Lakers rookies were able to immediately answer the question regarding the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, blurting out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as soon as the question finished, showing that the rookies aren’t completely unaware of Lakers history.