Where were you when you first heard about it?
Did you gasp? Were you speechless? Drop everything you were doing?
Lonzo Ball is now 6-0 in training-camp scrimmages. Six. And. Oh. Let the legend begin.
Lonzo has come a long way from the UCLA commit at Chino Hills High School. He grabbed attention in his one college season, landed on his hometown NBA team, and then wowed Lakers fans at Las Vegas summer league.
Ball has yet to play a single second of NBA regular-season basketball, but legends are built, not born. And, specifically, they are built in practices against the worst defense in the NBA last season.
On Monday, at media day, Lakers players, coaches, and executives all downplayed the Lonzo phenomenon. By Tuesday, the first day of Lakers training camp, things had already spiraled out of control. Magic Johnson even compared Lonzo and Brandon Ingram to himself and James Worthy.
Walton on Lonzo: “It’s almost as if the game is moving a little bit slower for him than everyone else.”— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 28, 2017
The streets then began talking (or the Lakers intentionally leaked the info) after a closed scrimmage: Lonzo’s team went undefeated during three games without a single projected starter on his side. Not one!!! (OK, first of all, talk about throwing the other players on his team under the bus. But hey, who cares, it’s Lonzo and he’s unstoppable.)
Reporters asked about the scrimmage as if it were Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
“His vision is obviously second to none,” Julius Randle said after Thursday’s practice.
By Thursday, the reality had become clear: Lonzo Ball may be the best point guard ever. “Legend of Lonzo grows in first week of training camp,” read a Friday headline on ESPN.com’s NBA section. The Lakers released highlights of Thursday night’s scrimmage in which Ball triumphantly pushed his record to 6-0. Unprecedented stuff.
During media day, Rob Pelinka described Ball as someone who didn’t like drawing attention to himself. Pelinka is probably right. But that’s the thing about the Ball phenomenon—there’s no need to draw attention to yourself when everyone around you is already doing it for you.
“Triple Bs, man,” Lonzo raps in a song released Friday. “You know the name, you see the fame.”