The Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie Lonzo Ball has recently shouldered the blame for the team’s rough start this season. Not only that, the No. 2 pick from this past summer’s NBA Draft is crediting two major influences over his life for taking responsibility in the matter. They include his proud father LaVar Ball and his possible future teammate LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here’s the latest on what rookie Lonzo Ball had to say about his Los Angeles Lakers team’s difficult start to the NBA season.
The L.A. Lakers have now lost back-to-back games against Toronto and Utah. In a report from the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, it was mentioned that one more loss will give Lonzo Ball the total number of losses he had in the past two years of his basketball career. The Lakers are currently struggling at 2-4 overall with one win on the road and one win at home. Those victories came against the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards, with each win coming by three points or less. Los Angeles has now dropped two-straight games since the victory over the Wizards and Ball is shouldering a lot of the blame for his team’s lack of early success.
The No. 2 draft pick talked about how he’s brought his basketball values along with him to the professional level.
“That is how I was brought up; I am not going to change,” Ball said. “…It is a team game, we all play for each other; obviously, we win and lose as a team, but I like to take the blame when we lose.”
While Lonzo grew up under the watchful eye of his father LaVar, Ball also credits NBA superstar LeBron James for helping him realize he needs to accept the responsibility for a team’s struggles. Ball noted that James has never changed how he does things since he’s been in the NBA and that he’s seen “he always takes” the burden when a team is struggling.
As mentioned, the Lakers picked up a road win over Phoenix by two points in which Ball showed his potential future brilliance. In that game, he nearly achieved a triple-double, but had his NBA career-high so far, with 29 points scored. The Wizards’ win may have been bigger, though, as they are a team that many believe is amongst the top three in the Eastern Conference. Ball’s Lakers won that game in overtime, by three points.
The team’s losses haven’t been terrible, with a 16-point loss against the Clippers in their opener, the worst defeat so far. They lost their most recent game to the Utah Jazz 96-81 with Ball achieving just nine points, four assists, and two rebounds in his performance.
While Ball is taking full responsibility for the down days early in his career, his coach, former Lakers’ player Luke Walton, isn’t putting all the blame on Lonzo.
“It’s not his fault we lost,” Walton said Monday. “…I love that he wants to take responsibility for it, that’s what leaders do, they put it on their back, but it’s not on him that we lost that game. He did a lot of things very well that night, too.”
Even though it’s early in the season, so far it has appeared that the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons is winning the Rookie of the Year race. However, with 76 more games left on the Los Angeles Lakers’ schedule, there’s still plenty of time for Lonzo Ball to improve, gain experience, and get wins. On Tuesday night, his team will be featured as they host the Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]