By Christopher Rodriguez
Despite early comparisons, Lonzo Ball is proving to be no Jason Kidd.
Rumblings around the league are becoming louder and louder as the narrative is changing and agreed upon by many. The notion that Lonzo Ball is the next Jason Kidd is starting to lose its validity. We’ve all seen the side-by-side comparisons of Ball’s numbers next to Kidd’s, but the eyeball test is why the Los Angeles Lakers and scouts around the league are all starting to change their tune.
Ball is an unquestionably great passer and decision maker but what he lacks is aggressiveness–something that the Hall of Famer Kidd never struggled with. Although their skillset is similar (especially at the start of the season), Kidd always put up a fight and brought a toughness to the game. In that regard, Lonzo struggles mightily.
We’ve seen two versions of Ball throughout the first ten games of the season. He’s either over aggressive and misses a lot of shots, or he chooses not to shoot at all in fear of missing. Ball has even been seen staying outside of team huddles when he’s riding the bench.
As the No.2 pick in the draft and dubbed the “face of the franchise” by Magic Johnson, much more is expected of him. Lonzo has the reputation of a great passer with great court vision and high IQ who can run an offense at a high level. In order to do that, a certain type of aggressiveness is demanded and needed.
This issue has now become a major concern for the coaching staff, the front office and the players as they’ve all spoken out on Ball’s passiveness.
Maybe they should have studied his game more in college because Ball has been known for this style for quite some time.
As many have alluded, Ball is a work in progress. There was a sense by many that he would have an immediate impact and start having triple-doubles out of the gate; clearly, that is not the case. Ball will need to mature physically and learn how to play at the NBA level before the “Showtime” era can be reincarnated in L.A.
Do not expect Ben Simmons type numbers from Ball on a consistent basis anytime soon.
Many things will have to be instilled in Ball besides new shooting mechanics. He’ll have to learn how to be something that isn’t in his nature or mental make-up. He needs to develop a sense of confidence and toughness and learn how to take over games.
In time, these changes will occur and become a part of the Lonzo Laker fans have come to know and root for.