Lonzo Ball didn’t have a great start to Las Vegas Summer League. Ball scored just five points on fifteen shots while often looking out of place on defense in a display that could only be described as “a rookie playing in his first summer league game.”
All that is to say, this stuff happens. Ball moved the ball well, gave effort on defense even if he wasn’t always effective, and basically just shot horrifically. After the game, Lonzo’s father LaVar pointed out that it was more important for Ball to take the shots and show that confidence even while struggling, and he’s not wrong. A chance to make and learn from mistakes is the whole point of sending lottery picks to summer league.
Apparently no one informed the basketball internet of this, with outlet after outlet and tweeter after tweeter getting their jokes off at Ball’s expense, reveling in the highly-touted rookie’s struggles to make shots. Larry Nance, Jr. and Baron Davis are here to tell you that’s dumb:
Yall stupid for hating on Lonzo. haters for real. No bball IQ. Just writing for page views and clicks.. just wait n see what he do— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) July 8, 2017
COSIGN https://t.co/xX4NxT9IQ2— Larry Nance Jr (@Larrydn22) July 8, 2017
They aren’t wrong, and the collective horror over Ball shooting poorly in one summer league game begged the question: Did these same people watch the Lakers’ last two No. 2 picks play summer league?
D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram showed flashes in their first summer league stints to be sure, but were mostly horrific. That’s fine, because that’s what rookies do and Ball is no different. Russell tore up Las Vegas last year in his second outing in the desert, and Ingram looks set to do the same if the Lakers don’t shut him down after an otherworldly first game.
Yes, this author wrote a parody column saying the Lakers took the wrong Ball brother, but that was a satire designed to poke fun at the people seriously calling Lonzo a Big Baller Bust after one freaking summer league game. Nance and Davis are right to call that idea “stupid.”
It may be hot in Vegas, but everyone needs to chill.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.