Following the conclusion of the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday, Lonzo Ball is no longer a rookie. Now heading into this second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Ball is using every advantage he can to make a bigger impact next season.
In his post-draft interview with the media on Thursday, general manager Rob Pelinka talked about the work he’s seen Ball put in this offseason, which apparently has included weekly film sessions with team president Magic Johnson (via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN):
“He came to Magic and said ‘I’d like to start watching film with you once a week, just to learn, and so Magic, and myself, and Lonzo have been in our incredible film room once a week for an hour doing sessions.
One of the many great luxuries that comes with playing playing for the Lakers is the resources available to the players, and I’m not talking about the brand new UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo.
The Lakers have been home to some of the greatest players to ever step foot on the hardwood, many of which still have a relationship with the organization. We’ve seen Kyle Kuzma use the Lakers’ connections to his advantage, wining and dining with Kobe Bryant on occasion, and Ball seems to be following suit with a legend who compares closer to his own game.
While Ball is most often compared to fellow UCLA alumnus Jason Kidd, former Laker Gary Payton also sees a little bit of Magic in Ball.
“I like that he has a great court vision,” Payton said during a recent appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “The Herd.” “He’s got court vision that I have never seen since Magic Johnson, he has a great knack for rebounding the ball just like a Jason Kidd and he can defend the basketball.”
Ball showed flashes of that Magic-esque court vision in his rookie season and with a few pointers from the man himself, hopefully he’ll be able to show it on a more consistent basis next season, so long as his tips aren’t as cut and dry as hit hot takes on Twitter.
Laker fans all over should be happy with the No. 2 pick because the Lakers will get another really good player.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 18, 2016