In front of a packed crowd, Lonzo Ball made his Summer League debut for the Lakers on Friday. And I have never, ever, seen so much attention and buzz about a player’s Summer League debut.
Yeah, he sucked. He shot just 2 for 15, 1 for 11 from three and played what his dad called “his worst game ever.” He also had the arena packed hours before the game started and this is why his dad said Lonzo “is changing the culture.” It’s true. These people could have been watching Spider-Man: Homecoming (my pick for 2nd best in the franchise behind Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2) or Edgar Wright’s latest masterpiece Baby Driver (going for a 3rd time this weekend). Instead, they were watching him put up numbers nobody will ever remember.
Do you remember how Steph Curry did in his first Summer League game? He made just 4 of 14 shots in his debut. And at the end of five games, he was behind Anthony Morrow and Randolph in scoring. Forget Summer League, Curry only scored 10+ points twice in his first eight games and didn’t get 10+ assists until his fourth month in the league and he turned out to be a decent player.
How about Kobe? Do you remember the 17-year old dropping a game-high 27 in his Summer League debut and Pistons coach Alvin Gentry saying he’s “never seen a better player at his age at his position?” He dominated the Summer League then went scoreless in his regular season debut and only played more than 10 minutes once in his first eight games. Like Curry, he also turned out to be a decent player.
What I’m saying is it’s fun to see what players do in the summer league but silly to get too hype or too down on a player because of how he plays after one game in a league Bo Outlaw once put up 42 points, 15 boards, 7 assists and 7 blocks in. But since it’s fun, let’s check out “highlights” of Lonzo’s debut and see what his teammates and some current and former players (including Anthony Morrow) had to say about it.