The Los Angeles Lakers worked out UCLA guard Lonzo Ball on Wednesday morning at their training facility. Although the actual workout was closed to the media, Ball spoke with a mass of reporters following his workout.
The video of that interview is posted above, while the full transcription follows below.
Q: How did the workout go?
Lonzo Ball: I thought it was a lot of fun, got me tired, I’m going to sleep for the rest of the day.
Q: Were you a little bit nervous because you were the only one the Lakers were working out today?
Ball: No I don’t get nervous, I play basketball.
Q: Anything surprise you about the drills?
Ball: No common drills, they get you tired and you just gotta stay focused.
Q: What do you feel like you did the best today out there.
Ball: I try not to just pick one thing out of my game. I just try to get the whole thing done and I’m glad I came in. It was a lot of fun
Q: How much of this was about shooting?
Ball: A lot of shooting, a lot of pivots, a lot of pullups, typical shooting drills.
Q: What type of message did you get from yesterdays meetings?
Ball: It was a good dinner, a lot of fun meeting Magic and the coaches for the first time and I’m glad I came.
Q: What type of feedback did you get after the workout?
Ball: Just positive vibes, like I said I had a lot of fun, it was great meeting everyone here and they were very welcoming.
Q: Is this the place you want to play?
Ball: Of course I want to stay home
Q: Did you grow up watching Magic at all?
Ball: My dad loved him loved the way the Lakers play, so I kind of patterned my game after that.
Q: What do you think you can bring to this team to help turn it around, cause they’ve had some down time the last few years?
Ball: They have a lot of good players, but they need a leader, a point guard, and I feel like I can bring that to the team.
Q: What type of leadership qualities do you think you can bring?
Ball: Just bringing in a winning attitude, banding everyone together, and getting this done together.
Q: Did you get any assurance, or did they talk about that they would take you if they had the opportunity to?
Ball: Pops is worrying about that, it was more about me meeting them, them meeting me. It was a fun atmosphere and I’m glad I got to do it
Q: What made it so much fun?
Ball: Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players to ever play and I love the way coach Walton coaches and Rob’s a great dude too, so meeting all them was just a blessing.
Q: How do you see your game complementing these young players?
Ball: Like I said, they’re young, I’m young. I see they like to run, I love to run so, I think we’d complement each other very well
Q: What do you say to folks that say if the Lakers draft you, your father could be a huge distraction here in town?
Ball: They said that about me in high school, they said that about me in college, and I don’t think that will affect me.
Q: What did you do best during the workout? What kind of feedback did you get after?
Ball: I can’t pick one thing out, they get you tired, it’s a lot of fun. Positive feedback, a lot of tips, a lot of helpful hints and I’m just grateful.
Q: Who watched your workout?
Ball: Coaching staff, Magic Johnson.
Q: Any players?
Ball: Not that I know of
Q: Were you in a little bit of awe today walking in and seeing all the trophies up there?
Ball: No Im from here so I know about all of the championships all the trophies so I’m not really in awe, just grateful to be in here.
Q: Bryce Alford (UCLA teammate) said that just the fact that your dad has been so outspoken has kind of created an unfair perception of you, what’s your perspective on all that?
Ball: Everybody has an opinion, I know who I am people that know me know who I am and that’s all that matters.
Q: They didn’t run a lot of pick and roll at UCLA so there’s not a lot of numbers on that with you… how do you feel comfortable as the point guard running the pick and roll? Is that a strength you feel you just haven’t been able to really show yet?
Ball: I feel great in pick and roll. I can read defenses pretty well, so I don’t have a problem with it.
Q: Is leadership about what you do on the court or how much of it is about talking and being a vocal leader.
Ball: I think a lot of it is just natural. I think you’re either born a leader or you’re not.
Q: So you were born a leader?
Ball: Yes, sir.
Q: What wisdom did Magic impart on you?
Ball: A lot of stuff I can do on the court, help the guys off the court and like I said he’s the best point guard to ever play so I can learn a lot of things from him.
Q: In what way did you model your game after him?
Ball: He’s a big point guard, I’m a big point guard. He likes to push it, I like to push it. He likes to pass, I like to pass.
Q: Did you go to a lot of Lakers game growing up?
Ball: I never went to the games. My daddy didn’t really like the seats because I guess they were too small for him so I would usually just watch in the living room with him.
Q: Do you think the Lakers need you?
Ball: I think I can come to any team and help them.
Q: What do you make of all the media attention right now?
Ball: I’m kind of used to it by now.
Q: Do you plan to work out for any other teams?
Ball: I’ll leave that up to my agent, whatever he tells me to do I’ll do.
Q: When did this media kind of hit you as far as the volume of it?
Ball: Probably after my first game at UCLA. After that, it’s been like this every time.
Q: Have you thought about what would happen if the Lakers chose not to draft you?
Ball: Like I said, I’ll go to any team and do what I do and just play basketball.
Q: When you went to UCLA you went there and wanted to change the culture there, do you feel like you want to change the culture here as well?
Ball: Yeah, everything you do, you’ve got to do it for the team, bring a winning atmosphere in here and I feel like I can do that.
Q: Why should the Lakers draft you?
Ball: They need a leader, they need a point guard, I feel like I can fill that hole.
Q: A one on one workout, isn’t your strength, how hard do you think it is to evaluate you, do you think this really matters to them?
Ball: I don’t know how to answer that. I guess it kind of matters, it kind of doesn’t. It just depends on who you ask. For me, I’m just grateful to be here around the people, showing what I can do, and just let the chips fall where they may.
Q: Was this workout what you expected and what’s the one thing you wanted to gain most out of this?
Ball: The workout was just me coming in here doing what I love to do, with people helping me. This was my first workout, and I’m proud I got to come in here.
Q: Any nerves because it was the Lakers:
Ball: I don’t get nervous when I play basketball.
Q: Did you watch any tape or film with Magic?
Q: With all the stuff that happens of the court, does that make you a target sometimes with fans?
Ball: It definitely doesn’t help, definitely makes it a little bit harder. But any good player is going to have attention on him at all times and I’m pretty used to it by now.
Q: What are your plans for draft day?
Ball: I’ll be at the draft with a lot of my family. I’m looking forward to having a good time.
Q: Anything that you got from the dinner last night with what Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and Luke Walton about the culture of the team and what they would want from you? conveyed to Ball at their Tuesday evening dinner:
Ball: They said they want me to come in, and if I get picked, to come in and be a leader. Play with a lot of pace. The stuff they were saying was very positive, and it kind of fits my game.
Q: What did you feel like they wanted to know about you that was maybe a mystery to them?
Ball: They just wanted to know what type of person I am. I never met them, they never met me, and it was the first time and it was a good sit down dinner. I had a lot of fun.
Q: What kind of person are you
Ball: Calm, mellow, off the court, on the court. I just want to win.
Q: Did they ask much about your dad?
Ball: They said they love him. That’s about it.
Q: What were your impressions of them (Magic, Luke and Rob) at dinner?
Ball: They seemed like great guys. I’m grateful I got to meet them. It was a lot of fun sitting down with them and talking. I didn’t look at them as coaches, I looked at them as friends, so, it was a lot of fun.
Q: When did you find your love or that joy of basketball?
Ball: Since I started playing when I was six. something about having the ball in my hand. Everything kind of stops. Ever since then, I’ve been playing with passion.
Q: How do you develop that court vision, at what point did you start to develop that as a point guard?
Ball: My dad asked me what position I wanted to play. I told him point guard. He was like, ‘All right, if you’re gonna play point guard, you gotta get the ball up’, and ever since then I’ve just been passing.
Q: Have you talked with any of the other Lakers? Have they recruited you to the team or anything like that?
Ball: No I have not.
Q: What was it like when you first met Magic?
Ball: It was a blessing. Best point guard to ever play. Me being a point guard I looked up to him my whole life. To finally get a chance to meet him, it’s just a blessing.
Q: I know its only one workout but what did you learn to today that you didn’t know about the NBA?
Ball: You definitely gotta be in shape. It’s a lot of stamina stuff. As long as you stay focused and do everything with pace, you should be all right.
Q: Where do you think you’re at defensively?
Ball: I think I’ll be fine defensively in the league. I think I can guard one through three.
Q: What would you say are the areas in your game that you need to work on the most specifically?
Ball: You can always work on everything. But for me, probably just strength, get stronger and the mid-game pull-up stuff.
Q: Any plan to change the delivery on your shot or as long as it works are you going to keep using it
Ball: As long as it works, I’m going to keep using it.
Q: Are you the best player in the draft?
Ball: I think I am.