An inside look by The Athletic at the beginnings of LaMelo’s career reveals how Magic Johnson picked Lonzo Ball because of his Hollywood story.
LaMelo Ball has had an electrifying start to his NBA career thus far. He’s a runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year honors, and his Hornets team is currently 5th in the Eastern Conference with a 20-19 record.
The Lakers have been flamed in the past for selecting Lonzo Ball over prospects who’ve turned out better. Lonzo himself isn’t looked at as a bust anymore, but there is a feeling that Magic Johnson missed a trick as team president.
Why did Magic Johnson select Lonzo Ball with the no. 2 pick in 2017?
Bill Oram, a Hornets beat writer for The Athletic, gave us a sneak peek of why Magic selected Lonzo Ball:
“It was looked at from Magic and others’ perspective as being too good of a Hollywood story to pass up,” said one league source who was familiar with the Lakers draft strategy preparation. “This has to work out because it’s a perfect story. Because it’s Hollywood.”
Another source close to the Lakers agreed with that characterization, saying, “It was too good to be true. I think the Hollywood story was the worst thing that could have happened to him looking back.”
“You have the most storied franchise and the franchise’s most storied player, arguably, proclaiming this guy to be the next big thing. Wow.”
We all know what happened after this series of events. LeBron James signed with the Lakers as a free agent. James needs a good supporting cast just like any other superstar, so the Lakers went out and got him AD.
To do so, they traded their best young players in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart. They also packaged the no. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. So far, it has been a win-win for both teams.
The Lakers have landed a championship sans Lonzo Ball. The Pelicans, on the other hand, are rebuilding with Zion Williamson as their franchise cornerstone.