De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball seemed to be tied together as they had fierce college battles and were often debated on who was the top point guard.
As the 2017 NBA Draft came and went, the two found themselves selected only three spots apart to teams only 383 miles apart. With Ball going No. 2 to the Los Angeles Lakers and Fox going No. 5 to the Sacramento Kings, the stage was set for the two to continue their on-court battle.
Despite LaVar Ball’s attempts to stir the pot, the rivalry has somewhat died down as both players enter their third season.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, Ball and Fox went in opposite directions during the 2018-19 NBA season. While Ball suffered a second season-ending injury, Fox was one of the most improved players. However, when Fox appeared on Fox Sports 1’s ‘Skip and Shannon: Undisputed’, he expressed his belief that Ball will be a star:
” He’s a lot quicker than he was his first year. He’s just gonna grow, he’s going to continue to grow. I mean, we’re 21 years old. You expect him to peak at 21? And he passed the ball so well, he shot the ball well at UCLA. It’s just adjusting to the NBA. I mean like I said, I had my offseason to grow and I shot… I think it was 37% from three this year and I went through slumps. That probably could have been 40%. I think he’s definitely going to be — I mean he’s gonna be a great two-way guy, a great guy — he doesn’t want to score. Everybody knows that. He doesn’t want to score. I mean he had 30 his second game in the NBA. I think it shows that he’s a capable scorer. Then playing with LeBron is definitely a lot [more] difficult because you’re not touching the ball as much as you would. But I think that he’s gonna shoot the ball a lot better than he has.”
Fox brought up a couple of great points. Although Fox has continued to improve, he has also been blessed with the gifts of time and health. On the other hand, Ball has been less than fortunate in both those areas. With time, Ball will hopefully grow to become the player he looked to be coming out of UCLA.
Fox also mentioned that Ball has proven to be a much more capable defender than expected. Although Ball’s defensive stats dipped this year, most could tell that he had excellent defensive prowess. Throughout numerous stretches, he could lock down an opponent and harass them the whole 94 feet up the court.