The much-anticipated workout for 19-year-old UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball will be held today Wednesday, June 7 for the Los Angeles Lakers. Lonzo and his father, Lavar, made it clear a few weeks ago that the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team Lonzo is interested in working out for.
Lonzo grew up in California, where he made his name playing high school basketball for the local Chino Hills. Along with his two younger brothers, LiAngelo and Lamelo, Lonzo Ball was able to lead Chino Hills to a state championship in his senior year of high school.
His outstanding talent led him to one of the top colleges in NCAA sports, UCLA. The move also allowed Lonzo to play college ball in his hometown. Ball led the UCLA Bruins to an impressive 31-5 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. Unfortunately, the Bruins only made it to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament, losing to John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats.
However, throughout the entire season for the Bruins, Lonzo was arguably the most exciting player to watch in college basketball. If he wasn’t the most exciting player, then he was the most talked about. A big reason for that was his father, Lavar Ball, who has become well known for being very outspoken about his sons. Lavar has consistently been the voice of Lonzo’s career.
Every since the end of Lonzo’s one-and-done season at UCLA, his father began speaking about the Ball family wanting Lonzo to remain home and play for the Los Angeles Lakers. On May 16, during the NBA Draft Lottery, the L.A. Lakers were awarded the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Ironically, most draft experts had Lonzo ranked as the No. 2 pick on their draft boards.
Hall of Fame point guard Erving “Magic” Johnson was assigned as the team’s president of basketball operations this past season by new owner Jeanie Buss. Lonzo Ball’s style of play has been compared by many to the legendary Magic Johnson. In return, the Lakers and Magic Johnson have shown they have high interest in Lonzo despite the rumors of his father being a problem.
According to SBNation, when Magic spoke about Lonzo, he said, “Does he possess the talent, and the mindset, and the basketball skill we’re looking for? Of course. We just have to get him in for an interview first before we can make those types of decisions (on whether or not to draft him).”
The comment from Magic comes as no surprise as every NBA team typically interviews a top prospect of interest prior to the NBA Draft.
According to SBNation, Magic also said when speaking about Lavar, “You have to give the father a lot of credit. For being in not just Lonzo’s life, but the other two sons as well. I’m happy that a father goes around and say great things about his son, and it seems like it hasn’t bothered Lonzo. As long as it doesn’t bother him, it’s not going to bother the Lakers organization as long as Lonzo performs on the basketball court.”
The media and fans have also been interested in finding out what coach Luke Walton thinks about the entire Ball situation as well.
According to Lakers Nation, Luke Walton has high praise for Ball, saying, “Well, obviously, he’s from L.A. He went to UCLA, and he’s an unbelievable player. I absolutely love his game. The way he passes. The way he makes everybody on his team better. It’s an unbelievable skill. It’s a joy watching him play.”
[Featured Image by Juan Ocampo/Getty Images]