Lonzo Ball found nothing but air on his first shot attempt in a Los Angeles Lakers jersey since the 2017-18 season. His teammate Josh Hart didn’t let him forget it.
Hart, a fellow second-year Lakers guard, passed along a video of the event on Twitter on Thursday morning.
“Way to hold the follow through my guy!” he tweeted, tagging the No. 2 overall pick of 2017.
The ribbing prompted a response from Ball: “Lmao show the next attempt.”
Ball’s next field-goal attempt in the preseason matchup with the Golden State Warriors was of the higher-percentage variety: an alley-oop slam on a feed from LeBron James.
Ball cashed his next three-point attempt as well.
LeBron James–Lonzo Ball Connection
“Doesn’t take much,” James said of the alley-oop, according to ESPN. “It takes execution, it took a great back screen by [Kyle Kuzma on Quinn Cook]. It took Lance [Stephenson] doing what he needed to do on the slide going to the strong corner. When you got an athletic point guard like that, it’s my job to put it up there for him to go get it. … I think we’ve all seen [Ball’s athleticism] since he was in high school, I believe.”
James registered 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in just 18 minutes in a 123-113 victory. Ball came off the bench to play 23 minutes, scoring seven points on 3-of-5 shooting to go with four rebounds, two assists, and four steals.
“When you play with LeBron, you’ve got to keep playing. He’s easy to watch, as much stuff as he does. He had a monster first half,” Ball said after the win, per Lakers Nation. “Best player in the world. We got to keep focusing. We got to keep doing our job. If you don’t bring it, you’re going to be watching it from the bench.”
James raved about Ball, too: “His ability to see the floor, his ability to push the ball, his athleticism, and then defensively, very, very quick hands. It was great to have him back on the floor.”
Lonzo Ball’s Return From Surgery
Ball conceded that fatigue slowed him down early in the game.
“After the first quarter I felt I was good. First quarter, I was a little winded,” Ball said, according to Lakers Nation. “You can’t really get a good feeling of what a game is going to be like unless you get into it.”
Ball dealt with an injury to his left knee for much of the 2017-18, appearing in just 52 games. He last played on basketball on March 28.
The point guard underwent arthroscopic surgery on July 27.
“Knee is 100 percent,” Ball added. “The only thing now is conditioning.”