No L.A. rookie faced pressure like Lonzo Ball did in his first year with the Lakers. No rookie was scrutinized more than Lonzo Ball (thanks to his dad). No other rookie was hated by more “NBA fans” than Lonzo Ball. No other rookie was considered a “bust” after averaging 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game.
But that’s the life of Lonzo Ball.
In his rookie year Lonzo averaged 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Jason Kidd, who Lonzo has been compared to averaged 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists a game.
Did people consider Jason Kidd a bust after his rookie year?
Only four rookies in NBA HISTORY have averaged at least 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. Those four? Oscar Roberson, Magic Johnson, Ben Simmons, and Lonzo Ball.
Did people consider Oscar Roberson, Magic Johnson, or Ben Simmons a bust?
Only 18 players have EVER averaged at least 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game in a season:
- Lebron James (8 times)
- Magic Johnson (7 times)
- Jason Kidd (7 times)
- Oscar Roberson (6 times)
- Russell Westbroo (4 times)
- Larry Bird (3 times)
- Draymond Green (3 times)
- Fat Lever (3 times)
- Wilt Chamberlain (twice)
- John Havlicek (twice)
- Bob Cousy (once)
- James Harden (once)
- Grant Hill (once)
- Michael Jordan (once)
- Micheal Ray Richardson (once)
- Norm Van Lier (once)
- Ben Simmons (once)
Pretty impressive list. Still consider him a bust?
You want more stats?
Lonzo ranked THIRD in DRPM (defense real plus minus) for ALL POINT GUARDS in the NBA last year. ALL POINT GUARDS. The Lakers defensive rating was 2.7 points per 100 possession better with Lonzo on the court. And with Lonzo on the court, their assist % were up by 4.2.
Still don’t like Lonzo? What about his vision and ability to throw full court outlet passes to open teammates for easy buckets? What do you hate about it?
What about this pass? What do you hate about it?
Lonzo is never going to average 20 points a game. He’s a point guard that makes his teammates better and that’s exactly what you want from your point guard.
He doesn’t have the prettiest shot in the world and he’ll probably never develop a pull up game. But he’s a good enough shooter to hit open shots (he shot 41% from 3-point range in his one season at UCLA). He’ll continue to develop his shot and he’ll become a consistent shooter.
Some people (the same people that consider Lonzo a bust) are concerned about his ability to play with Lebron James. What concerns do those people have? That Lebron will always have the ball in his hands? Lonzo, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t need the ball in his hands. He’s selfless and he likes to pass the basketball. The two are going tho whip the ball around the perimeter and it’s going to be a thing of beauty. Thinking about Lonzo making a full court outlet pass to Lebron makes my mouth water.
So please, if you have NEVER watched Lonzo play basketball, please don’t call him a bust. Please don’t say you hate how he plays. You can dislike his dad, but don’t let that affect how you view Lonzo as a basketball player.
Lonzo is the next Jason Kidd, so sit back and enjoy Showtime 2.0 this year.