NBA

Lonzo Ball.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton says Lonzo Ball reminds him of Kobe Bryant

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After a disappointing NBA debut, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball bounced back in style as he almost posted a triple-double in his second game.

The 19-year-old put up 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as he led his team to a narrow win over the Phoenix Suns.

He was just an assist short of making NBA history by becoming the youngest player to ever record a triple-double.

Ball quickly silenced his doubters who had criticised him for scoring just three points in the Lakers' opener against city rivals the Los Angeles Clippers the night prior.

But Lonzo came out aggressive and more determined in Phoenix and took 27 shot attempts which were in stark contrast to the six he threw up on his debut.

The point guard has drawn many comparisons to franchise legend Magic Johnson due to his unselfish style of basketball and some have even likened him to future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.

After his performance against the Suns, head coach Luke Walton compared him to another great to have donned the purple and gold jersey; Kobe Bryant.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers

But Walton was specifically talking about the youngster's mentality and demeanour on the floor rather than his playing style.

Lonzo came up big down the stretch of the 132-130 win at Talking Stick Resort Arena scoring eight points in the final five minutes, including a clutch bucket with just over 90 seconds to go that put the Lakers up by eight.

His coach said that the way Ball stayed calm and collected reminded him of his former teammate and five-time champion.

"I'm not calling him Kobe, but Kobe was the same way," Walton said, per the Los Angeles Time. "As a teammate, I knew not even to touch Kobe in those moments because Kobe was locked in. … In those moments, the players that don't let the pressure get to them, they stay calm."

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns

Of course, the UCLA product has a very long way to go before he can be compared to the 'Black Mamba' in terms of ability and accomplishments on the floor but any comparison to one of the greatest players of all time is a positive.

Lonzo and the Lakers return to their home floor to entertain the New Orleans Pelicans tonight and it gives the talented guard another opportunity to impress in front of his home crowd and show that the future of the franchise is in good hands.

Topics:
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Kobe Bryant

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