Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton believes Lonzo Ball will help improve the team’s culture.
UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, who was picked second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, is a multitalented player that puts the team over himself. He is the type of player that can make everyone around him better. That’s why Lakers’ head coach Luke Walton believes the guard was the right pick and that he can help improve the team.
Speaking to the media after Ball was selected, Walton said that Ball’s selfless style of play will help the Laker’s “culture.”
"“He’ll help improve our culture with the way he plays, the way he passes, his selfless nature, and that’s why we took him,” Walton told reporters Thursday."
Ball, who played one year at UCLA, has been compared to Jason Kidd. With his ability to find open teammates to pass to, to score when needed, and to grab rebounds, a lot of analysts said that his game is very similar to Kidd’s. This is good for the Lakers because they need someone who can run their plays. Last season, their main point guard, D’Angelo Russell (who has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets), only averaged 4.8 assists per game.
Additionally, Walton also talked about why the team decided to pick Ball over Kansas’ Josh Jackson. The head coach said that he wants the Lakers to play more of an “up-tempo game” and Ball will help with that.
"“We love Josh Jackson, and he’s a monster on the defensive end. We also want the ball moving. We want to play an up-tempo game, and that’s what Ball’s a genius at,” Walton said."
In Walton’s first year as head coach with the Lakers, the team only won 26 games. However, they have a really talented young core in Ball, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram, who all have a lot of upside. Though they most likely will not make it to the playoffs next season, their future is bright.