Rookie point guard struggles with his shot in first 12 games of his NBA career is a dog bites man story. Happens all the time. Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball struggles in first 12 games of his NBA career is a man bites dog story. Everyone wants to know what’s happening, mainly because of the outlandish comments made by his dad, LaVar, who, among other statements, said his son is better than Steph Curry and had rookie of the year “sewn up” before even playing a regular-season game. Given the father’s propensity for hyperbole, reasonable people take the comments with a proper dose of perspective and understand it’s not Lonzo turning up the hype. Reasonable people understand it takes time for rookies to find their way in the NBA. Still, the words of the father have increased the scrutiny of the son, and Lakers president Magic Johnson didn’t help by proclaiming Ball the new face of the franchise and saying the Lakers expect his jersey will hang in the rafters someday. It has created unfair and unrealistic expectations, ensuring an already difficult transition from college to the NBA is even more difficult. His struggles are magnified with each missed shot – and hype and pressure outside of his control or doing – and the Lakers just have to live with it. Following a 10-point, eight-assist, eight-rebound performance in which he shot 3-for-12 from the field and 1-for-7 on three-pointers, Lakers coach Luke Walton acknowledged the intense criticism. Asked by The Undefeated’s Mike Wise if Ball’s game is dissected as if he’s a 10-year veteran, Walton replied, “Yeah, absolutely. He’s an incredible player, and he’s 20 years old. He almost had a triple-double. But anytime you turn on any sports talk show, all they talk about is his shot. He’s already playing for the Lakers so he’s got a lot more pressure on him than I think anyone has in a long time that’s come out from college.” Ball’s awkward shot – it’s not, to be sure, as pure as Washington Wizard guard Bradley Beal’s – worked for him during his one season at UCLA. That shot is not productive in the NBA right now.
Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball knows criticism is a 'reality' for him
USA Today | Nov 10