Lonzo Ball needs to be drafted by the New York Knicks. Seriously.
The New York Knicks have been an embarrassment for the last few seasons. This isn’t a surprise for Knicks fans or NBA fans. Much of the reason behind this is the president, Phil Jackson. Much of it is because of Knicks owner James Dolan.
At some point, however, the blame has to go to the players themselves.
With all the commotion going on around Carmelo Anthony this year in terms of him leaving or not, the Knicks seemed defeated most nights. The fire was gone. The will was not there & the team and organization seemed happy being the punchlines for the wild New York media.
While the Knicks are going to be a bit of a work in progress, the team can infuse excitement into the upcoming season with one player – Lonzo Ball.
Yes, the Lonzo Ball with the crazy father who only wants his kid in Los Angeles. However, this is the same Lonzo Ball who is a dynamic point guard, can be a good leader on the court, and bring excitement to Madison Square Garden. It is the excitement & promise for the future that will need to keep the Knicks relevant for the time being.
Could The New York Knicks Handle Lonzo Ball?
The answer is simple – yes. Other than Los Angeles, New York is a perfect spot for a guy like Ball to play. Even if his father LaVar wants to continue being an ass in the media, the New York market will set him straight.
If not, the Ball family will become the biggest name in all of sports. Or Lonzo Ball will grow a pair & set his dad straight.
While some may think that has no chance of happening, think about this – Lonzo is all business in interviews. He is not the one spouting off crazy stuff like his dad is. He is not the one yelling about Big Baller Brand every chance he gets. His focus on the NBA & the Draft has been remarkable, given all the other mess around him.
Being able to focus on his game with his dad basically embarrassing him each day shows he can handle adversity. There is a strong chance he may have to handle that for the next year or so in New York.
Knicks Need PG Help Badly
Last season, the hype going into the year was that Derrick Rose was going to be the guy. Rose was going to get a revival with the Knicks after injuries plagued him with the Bulls. Welp, the injuries continued, and Rose & Joakim Noah – the other player who came over from the Bulls. Both were not a help at all this year in terms of wins. Rose looked like his old self at times, but the time in New York was basically a wash.
Ball could come in and immediately make an impact. If Phil Jackson doesn’t drive out Porzingis this summer or next year, Ball & Porzingis could easily become the backbone of the franchise for years to come. Having young talent like that at positions such as point guard & power forward will make other free agents & stars who want to be traded take a look at the Knicks.
Right now, the Knicks have a stain on their franchise. The mess that took place with Anthony and the upper management made NBA players think twice about wanting to be in NYC. The NBA players have a different situation than other leagues do with cities – their players are marketable anywhere in the country as long as they have talent & their team is mildly successful.
Yes, Ball & his family would like to be close to home in Los Angeles. However, there are a few reasons as to why that may not be the best for this rising superstar.
From a Basketball Standpoint, Lonzo Ball on the Knicks Makes Sense
For pure basketball Knicks fans, the move makes complete sense. Ball was always good at getting other players involved in the action. He kept the ball moving consistently when he was on the court. He had that bit of showtime in his game that would make teams intrigued by his style. Along with the confidence as a true point guard, he was not afraid to take big shots in key moments.
Ever since high school, Ball has been in the spotlight. At Chino Hills (CA), he and his brothers were regarded like rock stars. Parents selling their own brand in the stands. They drove around with the best stuff.
But, the boys have all backed it up on the court. Lonzo Ball will not be threatened by the big lights & moments of Madison Square Garden. Knowing that, his basketball game & IQ will translate well to the court due to not being thrown off by media.
Lonzo Ball Being in Los Angeles Could Mean Major Distractions
Most players want to represent where they came from. It is only natural. Many basketball players have had to play against each other in several levels of basketball through their lives. Whether its AAU, high school, or college, players know one another well, and have a level of comfort with each other.
What is rare, however, is when a player goes to high school, college & the pros in one city. Sometimes, people – basketball player or not – need to go away & break from the nest in order to grow. Lonzo Ball will have tons of chances to hang out at home in Los Angeles during the offseason & during the year if he wants.
Being in New York could be a chance for him to truly grow into his own man. Yes, he has strong mental aptitude for the game & blocking out “noise,” but he always has the nest to fall back on with his family & the influence he would have in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Could Lead To High Pressure For Lonzo Ball
From a basketball standpoint, Ball should be drafted by the Lakers if the Knicks don’t move up. The Lakers have a point guard in D’Angelo Russell, but he could be moved to a two-guard position. The feeling could be that Nick Young is on his way out, especially because of the distractions he has had over the years not equaling production on the court consistently.
If Ball is drafted by the Lakers early, he will be the starter on opening night. With his dad spouting off about how Lonzo is better than Magic Johnson, there could be unfair pressure on Ball. No young player needs that kind of high pressure so quick in their career. There are a few that are exceptions, but even the greats like Jordan, LeBron & Kobe had growing pains early on.
From all accounts, Lonzo Ball is ready to be an NBA point guard. He will be in a big market. The marketing appeal will be there from night 1. Whether its New York or Los Angeles, Ball will have a chance to truly be a star & one of the new faces of the NBA.
Lonzo Ball has the skills to be a strong PG early on. He could be a great Knicks guard to bring the organization back to prominence. Time for Phil Jackson to take a chance.