On Thursday, the Lonzo Ball era begins for the Los Angeles Lakers when they take on the Clippers at the Staples Center. After nursing a sprained left ankle throughout most of the preseason, Ball is off the injury report and will face a pesky defender in Patrick Beverley. "I have been watching the NBA for a long time, [Beverley] definitely picks up full court and plays hard," Lonzo told ESPN. "It is going to be a lot of fun. He is going to go at me, I am going to go at him and it is going to be that." Lonzo has also been given no health-minutes restrictions.
When asked about his biggest challenge heading into the 2017-18 NBA campaign, Ball didn't give a response comparable to his father LaVar and say something arrogant like "himself." Instead, Lonzo said that the strength of the opposing defense will take some getting used to. "Just the strength," he said. "It's grown men now, so every night, night in, night out, they going to be strong."
Lakers head coach Luke Walton understands that Ball's rookie season will not always be smooth sailing, but he still believes Lonzo will be able to weather the storm. "Obviously, it is going to be a big learning curve -- he has never played in this type of game before where the guards and the players are this good and this strong and he is going against grown men, a team full of them," Walton said. "I think he will be fine. I think he will rise to the challenge like he has his whole life."