Lonzo can’t do anything without the whole world questioning him or his intentions, or wondering how his father might have factored into the decision. He can’t wear a new pair of shoes without the whole world of sports media losing their minds. It seems like everyone has an opinion about the young prospect. As a hometown kid, he’s the most criticized player since LeBron James.
Interestingly enough, the route to success for Lonzo is through tuning out the critics and doing what he’s done his whole life: outwork the competition. Lonzo has been put into a position to succeed like no other player in recent history. The Lakers made room for him by getting rid of D’Angelo Russell, effectively making Lonzo the point guard of the future for Los Angeles. He has a four-year commitment at least from Los Angeles, and the whole world knows that he’s likely not going anywhere even after that.
Usually, it takes three or four years for a rookie to become an NBA star, and even that is dependent on so many other factors. One of those factors is work. Now, it’s on Lonzo to work harder than anyone else in league until he hits the area of exponential growth in his game and he makes good on all the promises his father made for him.
Like LeBron, Lonzo was drafted to his hometown team who desperately needs a hero. The Lakers finished in the Western Conference cellar last year, and their hope is that the young Mr. Ball can change their fates.
Many scrutinize his summer league games in an effort to determine whether or not he can become a successful player in the NBA. He has a “bad game,” and the talk is that he’s not better than other players who were drafted behind him. He has a great game, then a less great game, and again, everyone forgets the 36-point performance.
It all means nothing. It should mean even less to Lonzo than it does for the average sports fan. The only thing that matters is the improvements that he can make. He needs to work on his conditioning and his defense. Eventually, he will fit in with a team of pros where his passing ability will immediately help them. That transformation all begins with Ball. It’s a simple formula for success and the path is clearly paved.