With the start of school around the corner, many parents will send their children off to class with expectations that as students they will learn from their teachers. When it comes to the basketball education of Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball holds no such hope.
However, LaVar doesn’t believe that is necessary nor possible for his son. During an appearance on Power 106 L.A., LaVar explained Lonzo and James don’t stand to learn from one another:
“He can’t learn nothing from Lonzo, and Lonzo can’t learn nothing from him. What they gotta do is win together. They both know how to win, so that’s the main thing.”
Add this proclamation to LaVar’s hyperbolic repertoire. There you will also see his claim that the Lakers remain “Lonzo’s team” even with James in the same locker room. Ball reiterated that stance in the interview with the radio station.
Putting LaVar’s thoughts aside, James’ resume as a potential mentor for his young point guard is hard to deny. Fifteen seasons, eight straight trips to the NBA Finals, four most MVP Awards, three championships, and a case for the greatest player of all-time.
James has played 1,143 games in his NBA career, while Lonzo has played 52. James’ wealth of experience and accomplishments should make him a resource for any player who takes the court with him, including the second-year Ball.
James’ court vision and basketball IQ could be the strengths from which Ball gleans the most. His young identity as a point guard in the NBA has been built on his ability to pass the basketball.
In his rookie campaign, Ball averaged 7.2 assists. That is the same number James has averaged over 15 seasons, but he’s coming off a year in which he averaged a career-high 9.1 assists.
With James commanding much of the attention from opposing defenses, he has honed the ability to get the ball to teammates and put them in the best position to score. This is something Ball can relate to.
It is possible for the Lakers to have two playmakers on the floor simultaneously, and all signs point to they intend to stack the floor with such players. Only time will tell how Ball and James work together in games.
Despite what LaVar might suggest, learning and winning do not have to be mutually exclusive. Lonzo can learn from James, and he in turn can learn from Lonzo. And the Lakers might just win games at the same time.