Lonzo Ball is the latest player to enter the spotlight as the Los Angeles Lakers search for their next superstar to fill the void left by Kobe Bryant, even if the two are vastly different types of players.
Ball is a passing savant who is reticent to even shoot, while not having much success when he does. Contrastingly, Bryant was one of the best pure scorers in NBA history, a player who dropped 81 points in a single game and only passed when it was obviously the right play to make.
Still, both were (in the case of Bryant) and are (in the case of Ball) expected to carry the Lakers forward towards more championships, giving them something in common.
Bryant told Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters this week that he had not had a conversation with Ball yet, but at the Lakers’ practice ahead of a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ball said he would welcome such an encounter, via Winters:
Lonzo Ball & Kobe Bryant haven't had the chance to chat yet, but don't think Lonzo isn't up for it.
Zo: "I think anyone would like to sit down with Kobe, so if the time comes, I would definitely be willing to do it and just learn everything I can."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) December 13, 2017
While Ball’s and Bryant’s games will never resemble each other’s, there is still plenty Ball could learn from the Lakers’ last superstar.
Ball has been praised for his work ethic early in his career, but Bryant was arguably the hardest-working player in NBA history, and could therefore surely teach Ball a good habit or two.
Bryant also is one of the few people qualified to talk to Ball about navigating the Los Angeles media spotlight, because he’s one of the few to ever receive attention on the level Ball has so far.
It’s no certainty that Bryant and Ball will ever sit down together, but given that Ball plays for Bryant’s former franchise and that said team is now run by Bryant’s former agent, there would seem to be a good chance Ball will get his opportunity to learn from Bryant at some point if he so desires.
Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram are among those who have already taken advantage of Bryant’s connection to the organization.
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