No player had recorded a triple-double in the 13-year history of the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League before Ball had one last Saturday against the Boston Celtics.
On Thursday, the No. 2 overall pick of this year’s NBA draft made it two in four summer games. Ball had 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 94-83 to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round.
“Lonzo was great again,” Lakers summer league coach Jud Buechler said.
After scoring a summer-high 36 points in Wednesday’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Ball again struggled with his shot Thursday. He missed eight of his 10 3-point attempts and was 6-of-20 from the field overall. Yet Ball still had an enormous impact on the game with his playmaking. His 12 assists were as many as the Cavaliers had as a team.
Lonzo not in negotiations with Nike, LaVar says
Despite wearing Nikes during a strong summer league performance Wednesday night, Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball is not in talks with the world’s largest shoe and apparel company, according to LaVar Ball.
Nike-clad Ball stellar as LeBron watches on
With LeBron James observing from the stands, Lonzo Ball scored 36 points and contributed 11 assists in the Lakers’ summer league win Wednesday. Ball turned some heads as he took the floor in Nikes instead of Big Baller Brand shoes.
Ball created quite a sensation Wednesday when, instead of his own ZO2 shoes, which sell for $495 under his family’s independent fashion line Big Baller Brand, he wore Nike Kobe A.D. sneakers. Ball kept people guessing Thursday when he jogged onto the court in a pair of James Harden signature Adidas.
“Big Baller Brand, you’ve got freedom to do whatever you want,” Ball said on the ESPN broadcast after the game. “I’m showcasing that.”
As has been the case throughout the last week, Ball’s defensive rebounding allowed him to throw long lead passes that produce easy scores in transition for his teammates.
“It’s probably 90 percent his talent and 10 percent guys just knowing that if they get on the wings, they’re going to get easy layups,” Buechler said. “He’s just incredible at getting that ball and pushing it. We want him to set the pace for our team, set the pace for the game. Get out, run for layups, get easy baskets.”
By contrast, Ball deferred the credit to the other Lakers.
“I’m just playing how I always play,” he said. “They’re running. They’re making the plays — catching and shooting, scoring. So credit to them.”
Fellow rookie Kyle Kuzma, drafted with the 27th overall pick, has been the recipient of many of those home-run passes from Ball.
Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. Through four summer league games, Ball is averaging 17.0 points, 9.8 assists and 8.3 rebounds.
But given Ball’s positive trend throughout the summer league, which he credited to getting back in game shape more than three months after his last game at UCLA, repeating Westbrook’s feat can’t be ruled out.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.