Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball has been the talk of the NBA over the last couple weeks due to his play at the Las Vegas Summer League. Ball was the league’s MVP leading the team to the title game, averaging 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Despite him missing the title game, the Lakers wrapped up the Summer League title with a win over the Trailblazers on Monday night.
In putting up those numbers, Ball recorded two triple–doubles during his stay in Vegas and Lakers president of basketball operations, Magic Johnson, told ESPN that fans can expect more of the same in the regular season.
“You can see that. If he’s getting triple-doubles in the summer league, he is going to get triple-doubles in the regular season,” Johnson said. “Just like me, when I got here, there was pressure. I was the No. 1 pick [in 1979]. I didn’t care about that. I am going to play my game. Lonzo is going to play his game. The great ones do.”
Johnson knows a thing or two about recording triple-doubles in the NBA, having racked up 138 of them in his career, second to only Oscar Robertson’s 181 in league history. Johnson also compared Ball to himself in the interview, citing his ability to get other players involved as the main similarity.
“I think it is the same in terms of the basketball IQ,” Johnson added, about what he and Ball have in common. “What is lacking in our game is a guy that can create a shot for somebody else. That is why Golden State, San Antonio and Cleveland are so good. They got multiple guys who can create a shot for somebody else. That is the one thing that he has that you cannot teach.”
Ball missed the championship game due to an injured calf. According to the article, an MRI on Tuesday confirmed a “mild calf strain” and Ball is expected to rest for two weeks in order to recover. Based on that timeline, he should be ready for training camp and the start of the team’s preseason slate, which begins with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on September 30th.