L.A.

Lonzo Ball believes he fulfills Lakers’ need for point guard and leader

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers held their long-anticipated solo workout with UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball on Wednesday morning.

Following the 75-minute workout session, Ball voiced much confidence about what he brings to the table with a definitive response singling out two areas of need that he thinks he can fulfill with the Lakers if he were taken with their the second overall pick later this month. 

“They have a lot of good players. I just think they need a leader, a point guard,” Ball said. “I feel like I can bring that to the team.”

Ball quickly expanded on the leadership trait stating that he believes he has that invaluable quality. 

“I think a lot of it is natural,” Ball said. “I think you’re either born a leader or you’re not.”

Heading into the work out there was plenty of chatter about the Lakers not being completely sold on the potential that Ball possesses. This comes after a strong freshman season at UCLA where he led the nation with 7.6 assists per game and broke the school’s single-season record with 274 assists. 

Despite all of that, the 19-year-0ld spoke quite fondly of the organization touting the front office duo of team president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka while also voicing praise toward head coach Luke Walton

“Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players to ever play, and I love the way that Coach Walton coaches and Rob’s a good dude, too,” Ball said. “So meeting all of them was a blessing.”

The night prior to the workout, Ball had dinner with the front office and coaching staff to which he divulged a bit of what he discussed with them centering around how he could help the team if he lands with them. 

“They said they want me to come in, if I get picked, and be a leader,” Ball said. “Play with a lot of pace. The stuff they were saying was very positive, and it kind of fits my game. I never met them, they never met me, and it was the first time. It was a good sit down dinner. I had a lot of fun.

He also fielded questions concerning his father, LaVar Ball, impact on his draft status as being a possible off-the-court distraction, which he quickly dismissed any notion of that potentially becoming an issue. 

“They said that about me in high school and they said that about me in college,” Ball said. “I don’t think it will affect me.”

All in all, Ball voiced much appreciation for getting the opportunity to workout for the Lakers along with his hopes that things pan out in the manner that he desires.  

“I’m just grateful for being here around the people, showing what I can do,” Ball said. “[I’ll] just let the chips fall where they may.”

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.
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