Despite not having the best debut thanks to one of the NBA’s most defensive point guards in Patrick Beverly, Lonzo Ball had a much better performance against the Phoenix Sun on Friday night, leading the Lakers to a 132-130 win.
Ball missed out on a historic triple-double by one assist, in only his second professional game. Ball went for 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists. Had Ball achieved the triple-double, he would have become the youngest player in NBA history to do so.
Luke Walton was full of praise for his young point guard and appreciated his poise and game time management. So much that Walton compared Ball’s composure and late game demeanor to Kobe Bryant.
“I’m not calling him Kobe, but Kobe was the same way. “As a teammate, I knew not even to touch Kobe in those moments because Kobe was locked in. … In those moments, the players that don’t let the pressure get to them, they stay calm.”
Walton doesn’t want people to think that he’s saying Ball is Bryant per Uproxx. Walton is simply pointing out the similarity in their decision making in that specific late-game situation.