Is Lebron James a Ball Whisperer?
Looking for a ray of sunshine during the dreary fog that enveloped the Lakers for the past month (they went 2–12 including a 9-game losing streak), I looked at the stats of Lonzo Ball and found an interesting pattern.
Even though Lebron James tried to hide his conversation with Lonzo Ball from the media, it was picked up by a microphone and contained very little in terms of earth shattering advice — “Finding your zone and just stay fucking locked in… Just be aggressive every single day. It’s white noise to you. That’s all it is all right? Let’s go.”
Validation of your worth is a hugely personal thing that is never believed when it comes from your parents, family or friends. Is it possible a few kind words from your childhood idol might create a lasting impression?
Lonzo Ball was shooting at a historically bad percentage for the first two months of the season, and got hammered non-stop by everyone who either hates the Lakers, Magic, or Lavar Ball — which has to be about 90% of the population.
If you go by month, Ball’s 3-point percentage looks like this:
But if you compare Lonzo’s performance in the six games prior to his postgame conversation with Lebron James (BC) and the six games after the conversation (AC), the stats almost speak to a new Lonzo.
I know these are small sample sizes, and it’s nothing more than the maturation process of a young player, but the differences are stark.
BC Lonzo: 9.33 points on 9 shots per game, .296 3P%, 6.5 REB, 7.0 AST, 1.33 BLK, 1.5 STL, 2.83 TO
AC Lonzo: 15.0 points on 12.67 shots per game, .428 3P%, 7.0 REB, 6.1 AST, 1.0 BLK, 1.16 STL, 2.83 TO
Guess who AC Lonzo resembles?
This guy: 16.2 points on 12.0 shots per game, .389 3P%, 6.1 REB, 6.9 AST, 0.1 BLK, 1.2 STL, 2.6 TO
Those may not be Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd or John Stoctkon type numbers, but they’re All-Star level numbers (in the East) for a guy who just turned 20 at the end of October.
We’ll have to see if this trend continues, but one thing’s for sure. The trolls’ silence is deafening right now.