Is Lonzo Ball Really DAMAGED Goods? (Ft. NBA, LaVar Ball, Lakers, And Some Shots)
LaVar Ball called his son Lonzo Ball damaged goods. Lonzo and LaVar fought over Big Baller Brand, but is Lonzo really damaged goods? #NBA #Lonzo
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Lonzo is heading into his 3rd year, now on the Pelicans with Zion Williamson. And on their show, Ball in the Family, for the first time we see LaVar and Lonzo actually arguing. LaVar calls his own son damaged goods which was surprising to some, others denied the claim, others supported it. So I wanna dive deeper into whether Lonzo can be considered damaged goods.
The idea of Lonzo Ball as damaged goods can come from the physical and metaphorical sense. Like anything on this channel, let’s first understand the context LaVar Ball was saying it in cause LaVar Ball never says anything crazy...Lonzo was advocating for a name change because he felt as if the Big Baller Brand had lost value after the main guy running operations, Alan Foster, stole money and was a con man. After a back and forth involving some analogy involving a tree and cutting off a branch instead of the whole tree, LaVar stuck firm to the name that he came up with and said. So essentially, he called Lonzo Ball damaged goods due to a lost reputation.
Let’s first talk about the physical sense. In his first two seasons in the NBA, Lonzo has played a combined 99 games out of a possible 164 games. Missing 65 games isn’t something light. And it’s not as if he had one big injury that caused him to miss most of one season, Lonzo has had 6 different injuries. He has sprained his left ankle 3 times including the one in January that kept him out for the remainder of the season and for some of this offseason. He also had a knee injury last offseason which didn’t let him train that offseason. These are not small injuries. Most of his injuries tend to keep him out for a couple of games at a time. The Lakers might have been overcautious, but Lonzo hasn’t finished a season. It’s not uncommon for young player like Lonzo to have injury problems. In fact, this has just been happening in the league more often. We’ve seen players like Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba, heck even Steph Curry had injuries early on. Zion just got injured in the summer league. It seems as players get past 22, their bodies can take the longer grind of the season. Lonzo’s reputation for health isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either.
Even in summer league, Lonzo won MVP which doesn’t mean much, but just added to the hype. And he didn’t live up to it and I mean there was almost no way to live up to that. I’m not even sure what realistic expectations were for Lonzo because everyone was more of denying LaVar’s claims rather than making actual expectations. But Lonzo had a solid rookie season. He averaged 10 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds. While the shooting was horrible, and I mean bad, his passing and vision were undoubtedly special. Grabbing 7 rebounds as a point guard is also elite. It didn’t help that Luke Walton was giving Lonzo inconsistent minutes, but of course everyone focused on his shot. Shooting 36% from the field and 45% from the free throw line would definitely do that. In his second season, Lonzo proved that he was one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. Actually by basketball index, he was rated the best perimeter defender in the league. I made a whole video detailing the impact of Lonzo Ball and how the Lakers went from 7th in defensive rating with him to 27th without him along with how the went from 1st in fastbreak frequency to 27th without him. Lonzo’s value has always been in everything but shooting.
Most reported him as somewhat of a defensive liability based off of his performance in UCLA. And man were they wrong. Lonzo’s ability to switch on multiple defenders and both superstars is one of the best in the league. He has an impact on the game which players and executives see. In that regard, Lonzo’s reputation actually went up.
LaVar was out of line in calling Lonzo damaged goods. This is the guy that has been the biggest supporter of his sons, but now that Lonzo was adamantly disagreeing, LaVar goes out and says that in a non-joking way. It was an uncalled for personal attack on his own son when Zo was having a civilized debate. And for a guy trying boost the Big Baller Brand, it isn’t the best idea to talk down your most valuable asset. Unless LaVar didn’t believe in damaged goods and wanted more press, in which case, he got it. But either way, I had to classify that Lonzo Ball is not damaged goods, he’s 21 and I’m excited to see what he does this season. But what do you think? Is Lonzo Ball damaged goods? How do you think he will play this season?