The Los Angeles Lakers were under intense scrutiny this past off-season as they were charged with picking at the #2 spot in the 2016 NBA Draft. Common knowledge said that Los Angeles was going to grab Lonzo Ball, a highly touted prospect from UCLA. However, Lonzo’s loud father had turned his antics up to eleven, making people wonder if the Lakers would want to even deal with the distraction. As it turned out, Los Angeles didn’t mind and they made the choice. Now, a month into the new season, we are seeing Lonzo Ball blossom into someone that could become historically great. Case in point: last night’s match up against Milwaukee. Lonzo put on a show, racing by LeBron James to become the youngest player ever to notch a triple-double.
Lonzo Ball and the Lakers are already pacing to finish this season better than last year and that is thanks in large part to the growth that Ball has exhibited on the court. Against Milwaukee, a tough team coached by Jason Kidd, Ball would rack up 19 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks and a trio of steals. The most important aspect of this monstrous box score total was that it didn’t mean anything to Lonzo himself. Ball said after the game of his historic outing, “I really don’t care. We took a loss.” Ball’s single-minded focus on winning basketball games is a refreshing look for a league so full of players that would rather be friends than go at each other on the court like true enemies.
The triple-double was particularly impressive for Lonzo Ball because he became the youngest to ever do it, notching the historic feat at juts 20 years old and surpassing LeBron James in order to make it happen. This was just the 13th total game of Ball’s professional career and he became one of the quicker players to manage the feat from that perspective, as well. The triple-double coming against Milwaukee was also particularly interesting because Jason Kidd, coach of the Bucks, is third all time in total triple-doubles.
Ultimately, the path to another NBA championship is going to run straight through Lonzo Ball’s capable hands. If Los Angeles can continue to put together young, talented pieces around Lonzo Ball while giving the youngster a long leash to learn, the team could be great sooner than anyone else can possibly imagine in the NBA.