Lonzo Ball on Viral Video of Him Walking Away From Teammate’s Scuffle With 5’9″ Tyler Ulis
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On Friday afternoon, a video of Lonzo Ball taking jumpers in practice made its rounds around the internet. Why? Did he make 20 or 30 in a row? No, it’s because he cut his hair. Most of us (half-jokingly) predicted the fresh cut meant a fresh start for the rookie (who I still stand behind 100% ) with the worst FG% over their first 15 games. We hoped it was a sign of a shooting slump breakout. And considering the Lakers were playing the defensive juggernauts that are the Phoenix Suns (again?), we assumed he would break out of his slump and put up at least a fraction of the points James Harden put up (48) the night before.
Well, Ball played team-high 38 minutes in the Lakers loss to the Suns and put up 6 points on 3-of-7 shooting, including 0-of-1 from three and 0-of-2 from the free throw line. He did have a nice roto fantasy line of 6 boards, 6 assists, 5 steals and a block but the donut in the three column makes him 0-of-11 in his past three games and 7-of-42 in the month of November. More shocking is he hasn’t made a free throw in the past three games.
Another stat missing from his boxscore was a technical. Near the end of the fourth quarter, 6’5″ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and 5’9″ Tyler Ulis got into a shoving match.
Ulis’ rookie teammate Josh Jackson rushed in to join the pushing. Then a couple of other Lakers made their way to the “scuffle” as Lonzo causally walked away. As expected, no punches were thrown and the only people hit with anything were Pope, Ulis and Jackson, who were all hit with techs from the refs.
“It’s the NBA. People ain’t really going to fight,” Ball said after the game. “I ain’t trying to get no tech.”
He’s right. Nothing was going to happen. Was his teammate really in any danger of getting hurt by Ulis? Even if Josh Jackson pulled out his air gun, the Pope was going to be fine. And if he was really in danger, then Julius Randle would have gotten off the bench he shouldn’t be sitting on and whooped everyone’s ass.
Critics of Ball’s decision to walk away said “it showed a lack of leadership” or “it’s a bad look because he’s not there for his brothers and fam.” My response is he has enough brother and family issues to worry about.
This altercation also marks the third time the Lakers and Suns got chippy with each other this season.