Anyone even tangentially aware of Lonzo Ball heading into the 2017 NBA Draft already knew he was an incredible prospect, but the hype surrounding Ball throughout that process and after the Los Angeles Lakers selected him seemed out of control at times. Could he really be “the face of the franchise” and be the “transcendent” player the front office was predicting him to be?
The jury is still out on Ball as an overall prospect, but one thing he can already do at an All-NBA level is pass the ball. Ball does this so well, one who wasn’t familiar with basketball could almost think the sphere the sport is played with was named after Ball.
During Las Vegas Summer League, Ball’s full passing skills were on display. Hitting tight windows to kick-start fast breaks, flinging assists out of nowhere after looking off his target and generally just making NBA-level reads and predictions every time he was on the floor.
The display of Ball’s skill in Las Vegas was incredible, and Pete Zayas of Laker Film Room put together an amazing video showcasing every Ball pass that set up a teammate to score the ball. We’re done with basketball for a few months, so savor these 12 minutes with Coach Pete and Lonzo:
The correct reaction to that video is summed up below:
Stages of Summer League Lonzo— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) July 16, 2017
Game 1: bust
Game 2: might buy a lonzo jersey
Game 3: might get a Lonzo tattoo
In all seriousness, the Lakers simply haven’t had a player that is this gifted and willing of a facilitator since Magic Johnson, who is now running the franchise as the Lakers president of basketball operations. Ball reads the floor incredibly well, and has the quick-trigger reflexes and strength to pass guys open in limited windows time after time.
His level of skill at passing the rock doesn’t come along often, and Ball is doing this at just 19 years old. He could get better, and even if he doesn’t and only marginally improves the other areas of his game, Ball is going to be a special player for a long time.
Showtime won’t be back this season, but Ball will sure as hell give us all a preview of its return to Los Angeles.