Likely due to his father’s popularity in addition to his on-court skills, Lonzo Ball has been the focal point of the 2017 NBA Draft class and has been the recipient of some extremely high praise since his name was called by the Los Angeles Lakers as the second overall pick.
Not only have his teammates said kind words about him, but Magic Johnson and the front office have unanimously made their expectations clear: Ball needs to (and will) turn into a star.
Based on his versatility to score, pull down rebounds and dish out assists, Ball has been compared to Hall of Famer and current Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd at times. So, it was only natural that Kidd would be asked about Ball’s game in a recent appearance on the On Par Podcast.
When asked which player in the NBA resembles his game, Kidd answered, “I guess the kid out of L.A. The Ball kid, Lonzo Ball. I guess he’s gotten a lot of comparison. Watching him in Vegas (at Summer League), he understands the floor, he understands the situation. He finds the open guy. Only time will tell. He might be better than I am.”
While Kidd was quick to compliment Ball, he also mentioned the part of his game that he needs to change if he wants to be successful in the long run.
“…I think you got to try to fix it because there’s going to be times when the defense is going to sit on it,” Kidd said of Ball’s unorthodox shooting stroke.
“Being a young player in this league, you don’t understand, How can I make the game easier for you? Because you rely on your talent. But as veterans, those words are key because if you can make the game easier for me, I can play longer and I can be more efficient. So for Ball, I think you got to look at him being able to work on the jump shot because of being able to only go one way without it being defended well," Kidd explained.
Ball’s unconventional shooting style involves him launching the ball from his waist and releasing the ball with his arms cocked to the opposite side of his head.
In the Summer League, his outspoken dad LaVar was very vocal about his son’s shot, saying that he would not change it. “Ain’t nobody tinkering with his shot,” Ball said in an interview with ESPN. “He’s going to shoot the same way, comfortable, like I said, who cares about his shot.”
The Lakers will most likely not mess around with Lonzo’s stroke during his rookie season, but if he struggles over an extended period of time, they could very well look into creating a new delivery at some point.
Nonetheless, it was interesting to hear Kidd’s take on Ball’s potential.