When Lonzo Ball was younger he would watch footage of Magic Johnson, which symbolized the purity of the game for his family.
“I watched tape on Magic when I was young,” Ball told The Vertical, “and it’s why you can see it in my game. He liked to pass, I like to pass. He was a big point guard, I’m a big point guard. And I feel the way the game is played means a lot to him and me.”
The Los Angeles Lakers could be in position to draft Ball if they keep their pick.
“The Lakers are in L.A., and they’re close to home,” Ball told The Vertical. “This is where all my family is. Hopefully, they have a nice pick and they have a chance to get me. I want this to be realistic. Just being very family-oriented, to play in front of them would mean a lot to me. The Lakers are a young team and they have a lot of young talent.”
While Ball may prefer to stay close to home, he's prepared to play for whichever team selects him.
“I’ll play for anyone, all 30 teams,” Ball told The Vertical. “I want the challenge of helping turn around any team in the league. Just making it to the NBA, that’s my goal.”
Ball's father, LaVar Ball, has become a celebrity in his own right with his outsized personality.
“That’s who he’s been since I was a kid,” Ball told The Vertical about his father.
Ball believes he could change the way free agents perceive the Lakers if he ends up there.
“That’s the culture I want: to enter a situation and help my team win,” Ball told The Vertical. “I’ll do whatever I can for wins. It’s what I did when I was at Chino Hills. It’s what I did at UCLA. It’s what I’ll do again at the next level. Just do what I can to help my team win and make players around me better.”
Ball would love the opportunity to learn directly from Magic.
“I can learn a lot from Magic, and it would be a blessing for me to be able to take after him each and every day,” Ball told The Vertical. “Magic is probably the best guard to ever play the game. The fact that he also played as a big guard, he can show me things.
“I would love to have that sit-down and learn to be the best player I can be.”