Following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-113 win against the Miami Heat on Thursday, three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade shared his thoughts on Lonzo Ball after seeing him up close for just the second time this season.
“I have been a big fan of him,” Wade said, via Lakers sideline reporter Mike Trudell. “I watched him play in college. He has a great feel of the game and he doesn’t play for statistics. He plays to win. He moves the ball and his IQ of the game is incredible. He is athletic. Everyone talks about his shot, but he has been shooting that way his whole life. He can knock shots down. He is good, man, he is a good basketball player.”
But as someone who was also a high draft pick (No. 5 overall in 2003) Wade understand the lofty expectations that come with being a big name prospect in a big market like Los Angeles or Miami.
“Everyone expects him to come in and be Kobe Bryant, but Kobe Bryant wasn’t Kobe Bryant when he came in. He had to work for it. So he has a long career, hopefully, in front of him and well will see how it shakes out.”
Wade scored a team-high 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field in Miami’s loss to the Lakers on Thursday, including this circus shot over Ball despite some stuff defense from the former UCLA product.
Ball took to Twitter after the game to show some respect to one of the game’s living legends by asking what we were all thinking after that shot: how?
Wade assured Ball that it wasn’t his defensive effort, rather, it was just the move of someone that has been in the league for nearly two decades.
Ball and Wade will face off once more before the season’s end, this time in Los Angeles. Hopefully the two players give us another memorable moment like the one from Thursday.
All quotes were transcribed via the original report by Lakers sideline reporter, Mike Trudell, which can be found here.