The Los Angeles Lakers feel like they found a future star when they drafted point guard Lonzo Ball with the second pick in this year’s NBA Draft, and his Summer League MVP award was a sign that they may be right.
However, talent alone is rarely enough to ascend to the heights of the basketball world. A player must be dedicated to their craft and focused on constantly pushing forward.
Fortunately, early indications are that Ball won’t have any problems in that area. He has been among a group of players showing up to the Lakers practice facility to work out on a daily basis, and according to NBA Insider Chris Martin Palmer, Ball’s teammates have been impressed with their new floor general:
Lonzo Ball has impressed teammates with his work ethic, commitment and humility. One player told me: “You just like being around him.”
— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) August 4, 2017
The Lakers are hoping that Ball can help them rebuild and bring the franchise back to its former glory, and while expectations are high, so far Ball has not disappointed. No player can be expected to match Kobe Bryant’s maniacal drive to be great, but the Lakers will ask for a serious commitment to excellence.
Of course, it isn’t all on Ball. Brandon Ingram, drafted with Los Angeles’ second overall pick in 2016, will also be expected to make serious strides after showing flashes of improvement towards the end of last season, in addition to a dominant single-game cameo in Summer League. Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson will likewise be asked to step up their games, with Randle, in particular, having extra motivation due to his contract expiring at the end of the season.
If Ball can have the kind of impact the Lakers think he can, then the entire team should improve thanks to a steady diet of easy looks from Ball’s passes, though we won’t know for sure until the 2017-2018 season finally tips off in October.