When Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball struggled with his shot at the outset of the season, plenty of critics came out of the woodwork to criticize his mechanics, his overall game, or even predict that he’d be a bust or that L.A. made a mistake in drafting him.
That criticism wasn’t exactly surprising given the colossal expectations Ball’s father had set for him with his constant bloviating in the media about his son’s greatness. But it was still over the top and, based on Ball’s play lately, looking incredibly premature.
Ball is shooting 44.1 percent from 3-point territory since the New Year, which is more than good enough to make defenses eventually start to respect his shot and open up drives for himself and teammates.
It also might be solid enough shooting to get fans and media members alike to kill the narrative that Ball can’t shoot, even if that hasn’t happened yet. But Ball also said he doesn’t pay any mind to such critiques anyway, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:
“I mean, it wasn’t affecting me — I was just missing shots,” Ball said of the intense chatter surrounding his shot earlier this season. “If it affected me, I wouldn’t be shooting now. Teammates tell me to keep shooting, coaches tell me to keep shooting. I’m gonna keep shooting.”
Ball kept shooting against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, canning six threes to go with his 11 assists.
He become the first player in franchise history to ever reach both of those benchmarks in a single game, which considering how illustrious the Lakers’ history is, suggests Ball just might be on a path to being a solid player.
That probably won’t affect the narrative around him for a while because storylines always take a while to adjust, but Ball doesn’t really seem to care, so those that know he’s good and will only get better probably shouldn’t either.