In Defense of Lonzo Ball

If you’ve turned on ESPN, FS1 or simply logged onto any form of social media over the past couple of months, you’ve probably heard about LaVar Ball and the Big Baller Brand. While the Ball family may be driving you crazy, you shouldn’t be turning that annoyance into anger towards Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

At the moment, there probably isn’t another professional athlete under a bigger microscope than Ball. The former UCLA star was selected №2 in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, but everyone has been paying even more attention to him because of the comments by his father, LaVar.

LaVar has dominated headlines for the past few months with some truly outlandish comments. From claiming that Lonzo was better than Stephen Curry to asking for $1 billion from Nike to even claiming that LaVar himself could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, the Ball Father has become a personality that he generated plenty of differing opinions.

All of the constant soundbites are annoying, but let’s not blame Lonzo for that. The 19-year-old has kept a relatively safe distance from these comments, and has even joked about his father in a genuinely funny commercial for Foot Locker.

Sure, LaVar may have made it very clear that Lonzo wouldn’t work out for any team besides the Lakers, but it felt like the Lakers were set on taking Lonzo no matter what, and Markelle Fultz seemed to be the clear №1 pick (he was taken first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers after a trade with Boston).

While his father has been very vocal, Lonzo has stayed calm, cool and collected during the NBA Summer League. The media was quick to start piling on Lonzo after his rough Summer League debut in which he shot just 2-of-15 from the floor, but that didn’t seem to bother him.

In the last two Summer League games, Lonzo has stepped up in a big way, including an impressive comeback win over the 76ers where Lonzo put up 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and two blocks. Instead of showboating after the game, Lonzo was quick to credit his teammates and point out the importance of a win.

Lonzo has shaken off a rough Summer League debut and put together an impressive highlight reel over the past few games. While his long-range game and passing have been well documented, Lonzo has also showed an ability to get to the rim.

It’s easy for basketball fans to starting hating on a №2 overall pick for the Lakers, especially when his dad continues to make wild accusations and sells sneakers for almost $500.

However, let’s not forget that Lonzo is still a kid, and he deserves some serious credit for staying quiet and focusing on making the team around him better instead of giving into the hype surrounding his family.

The NBA regular season is still a few months away, so let’s stop piling on Lonzo and just enjoy watching him make highlight plays as he gets ready for his rookie season.

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