Let’s stick with the Ball Family theme here on the Video God sports beat by following news of LiAngelo’s arrest in China with the rookie season struggles of Lonzo, the eldest son of patriarch LaVar.
This discussion has to be prefaced with the fact that Lonzo is a rookie. As we write this, he’s played in just 12 games for the Los Angeles Lakers.
There are certainly bright spots to Lonzo’s game. The guy is a triple-double waiting to happen, already a top-shelf passer and makes his teammates better basketball players. The Lakers are off to a 5-7 start, which may not sound impressive, but this is a team that’s won 26, 17, 21 and 27 games over the last four years. They’re clearly on the improve, and Ball is part of the reason why.
But his shooting, man, his shooting. It’s atrocious, abominable and at times, downright disgusting.
His form is, ummmm, unique, but not in a good way. He’s right-handed, but when he shoots, he brings the ball across his face to the left side of his head before releasing it.
The result through a dozen NBA games? Shooting percentages of 29.2 from the field and 22.0 from 3-point range.
That’s U-G-L-Y, and it’s concerning some people, Stephen A. Smith, for example.
“He’s starting to scare me, I’m starting to see bust, I’m getting worried,” Stephen A. said this week on ESPN’s First Take.
While Smith’s debate partner, Max Kellerman, extolled Ball’s potential and sees a star in the making, Smith wonders if the first-year Laker is approaching the game with the right attitude.
“I don’t know whether he looks like he wants it enough or whether he’s scared,” Smith said. “I’m not gonna accuse him of being scared, but this cruise-control persona of what his father gives off, I’m telling you right now, that ain’t gonna work for the Lakers. I don’t see aggression, I don’t see ‘want-to.’”
Smith says he’s spoken to plenty of people around the league who agree with him and added of Ball, “For the No. 2 overall pick, this dude has been as impotent offensively as you can get.”
Strong words, but again, Ball’s a 19-year-old rookie and may be able to fix his shooting woes as his career progresses.
For now, Charles Barkley offers this words of advice for when Ball puts up a shot: Duck!