With the second pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Luke Walton’s Los Angeles Lakers select…UCLA Bruins point guard, Lonzo Ball.
Lonzo Ball is the new face of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise, so explained Magic Johnson at the former Bruin’s jersey presentation press conference. Ball chose his college and high school jersey number two, even though Derek Fisher has not yet had his jersey retired.
Ball’s dad LaVar promised Lakers fans that Lonzo would take the Lakers to the playoffs next season. Even Lonzo couldn’t promise that feat, Magic or Luke either, but he did say that it was the plan to try to get to the playoffs.
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To get this goal accomplished, Magic Johnson will have to become Lonzo’s new dad, as he has been busy going about speaking success into existence. A LaVar Ball mantra. But Magic won’t be able to help Lonzo become a better baller in his image alone. He will need the entire coaching staff. A coaching staff made up of famous Wildcats.
There are five former Arizona Wildcats listed as a Los Angeles Lakers organization coach of some sort preceding their name. There is Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton, Lakers Assistant Coaches Jesse Mermuys, Jud Buechler, Miles Simon and South Bay Lakers assistant coach Isaiah Fox.
Ball, the second pick in the NBA Draft, has a lot of pressure riding on his success. Magic Johnson made this choice, in our opinion, it is obvious to us just listening to all the interviews. Head Coach Luke Walton discussed how there was a lot of healthy discussion on drafting a player with more defensive skills, and how Magic Johnson and Lakers GM Rob Pelinka made the trip out to watch Lonzo workout at home in Chino Hills without Walton.
Whatever the case, Walton is on board, and he and his Wildcats coaching staff will begin the process to groom this young baller into a defensive and offensive beast. Walton has been groomed by Arizona legendary coach Lute Olson and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, as well as his Celtics and Bruins father Bill Walton and Champion NBA coach Phil Jackson.
Ball is lucky that he will be able to get all this knowledge on top of Magic’s instructions and mentoring. Lute Olson often attended Golden State Warriors games and has supported Walton and Kerr through the years. So we would be surprised if Ball wouldn’t also be hearing from Olson from time to time.
In time, Ball will benefit from the wisdom of Wildcats coaches Walton, Simon, Mermuys, Buechler, and Fox. So to will Utah’s Kyle Kuzma at 27, Villanova star Josh Hart (a steal at 30) and Thomas Bryant (at pick 42), an Indiana forward with a ginormous wingspan of 7-foot-6 who comes within a half-inch of the basket with his 9-foot-5 inch reach. They should all feel blessed! Bear Down!