The Los Angeles Lakers seemed to have made the correct decision when they drafted UCLA guard Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall during the 2017 NBA Draft. With Ball set to take over head coach Luke Walton’s offense, he has been drawing a lot of comparisons to famous point guards, including Jason Kidd.
Ball has been compared to the future Hall-of-Famer since he arrived at UCLA, with a similar style of play and court vision. Both Ball and Kidd have the ability to get triple-doubles on any given night, as was the case with Ball during his MVP performance at the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League.
Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, recently appeared on the 710ESPN in Los Angeles, where he commented on the accuracy of the comparisons. During the interview, LaVar was quick to point of a key difference between the two players, saying his son is more athletic:
“That’s somebody’s opinion because my boy is way more athletic than Jason Kidd.”
During his two seasons at University of California, Berkley, Kidd came in at 6’4″ and 205 lbs., while Ball was a slender 6’6″ and 190 lbs. his lone season at UCLA. Another noticeable difference between the two players involves shooting abilities, as Ball enters his rookie campaign with somewhat of a polished three-point shot.
However, there were some differences that favored Kidd, including an easier adjustment period matching up to the physicality of the NBA. One key point that many scouts have also noted is how Kidd had a more explosive first step, whether on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. LaVar admitted that Kidd did have some advantages, but wasn’t hesitant in declaring that Lonzo will be much more successful when it comes to victories:
“He could have a better first step, he can jump higher [talking about Kidd] but he ain’t gonna win like my boy. My boy wins.”
The 10-time All-Star led the Dallas Mavericks to a 36-46 record during his rookie season, which was fifth in the Midwest division. It is also important to note that Kidd shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award that season with Grant Hill, after averaging 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.9 steals in 33.8 minutes per game.
Kidd recently addressed the Ball comparisons, stating that it is a great honor. A Hall-of-Fame talent is certainly an appropriate pressure, adding to the heavy expectations the Lakers have in store. However, Lonzo has been dealing with the media and commentary for quite some time, exuding that same poised, confident personality ready to make an impact on the court.