NBA legend Scottie Pippen told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols and Brian Windhorst that De’Aaron Fox is “far ahead” of Lonzo Ball when it comes to being an NBA player. Pippen was a guest analyst in a recent episode of ESPN’s The Jump, and he made the comments ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings game at the Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night.
Nichols asked Pippen about his expectations for the Ball-Fox matchup and the six-time NBA champion had a lot of praises for the latter. Pippen said that the former Kentucky standout is a “remarkable talent” and that he felt Fox “kind of slid in the draft.” Fox was selected by the Kings fifth overall while Ball was picked second overall by the Lakers.
Pippen claimed that Fox is “the best talent” who came out of this year’s draft and “a lot of players are going to pay for it.” The seven-time All-Star then continued to say that Fox’s “game is already matured for the NBA.”
“You look at him (Fox) and you compare him to (Lonzo) Ball, he’s definitely far ahead of Ball in terms of (being) a player with a lot of confidence. He has the offensive skills, but he also knows how to run a basketball,” Pippen said.
Windhorst agreed with Pippen, saying that many NBA players and league executives have said the “exact same thing” and that if it was “their choice, they would have taken De’Aaron Fox ahead of Lonzo Ball.”
The two rookies have brewed a budding rivalry against each other because of their history in college. Fox’s Kentucky Wildcats squad notably defeated Ball’s UCLA Bruins in an NCAA tournament game that said to have ended Ball’s college career. Fox unleashed 39 points during that match.
Fox and Ball have always been compared with one another because they both play the point guard position. The Lakers-Kings match on Wednesday would be the first time they meet in the NBA after Ball missed their Summer League game.
Yahoo! Sports reported that the “drama surrounding these two dates back to college” with Fox “running over” Ball in terms of overall performance. It remains to be seen, though, whether Fox will live up to everyone and Pippen’s expectations.
The Lakers and Kings’ game starts at 10:30 p.m. ET. It can be viewed live online via WatchESPN.
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