This year’s NBA Draft unfolded just as most experts believed it would, with the Philadelphia 76ers selecting Markelle Fultz first and the Los Angeles Lakers taking Lonzo Ball second, creating an instant rivalry.
The two will forever be compared to each other, as well as other top point guards in this draft class like De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr., and Frank Ntilikina.
While Fultz and Ball were, unfortunately, unable to go head-to-head in the Las Vegas Summer League due to an ankle injury suffered by Fultz, the pair did play against each other in college when Fultz’s Washington took on Ball and UCLA.
While Ball’s Bruins got the better of Fultz and the Huskies, Fultz did develop an appreciation for Ball, citing him as the best player he played against in college, and also mentioned that he wants to wear some Big Baller Brand T-Shirts, via the NBA’s Twitch channel:
Obviously, it’s a nice sign of respect that Fultz considers Ball to be the best player he faced off against in college, and even though their teams back then were never really direct rivals because Washington struggled, the two could create a very real rivalry in the NBA.
It’s unlikely anything will ever top the Lakers’ Magic Johnson v.s. the Celtics’ Larry Bird showdowns of the 1980’s, but the NBA still thrives on strong rivalries between teams and players, and Ball v.s. Fultz could eventually become a very good one.
As for Fultz wanting to wear Big Baller Brand, that would appear to be unlikely to actually happen since Fultz signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike back in June. His remark was more of an off-the-cuff joke, but it would be interesting to see other NBA players decide to wear Big Baller Brand equipment.
It was already announced the Ball would be featured in his signature ZO2 shoes in the latest NBA 2K game.