Lonzo Ball gets it both coming and going. That is, the Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie point guard is the subject of headlines when he’s not on the court in the fourth quarters of games (a situation controlled by Lakers coach Luke Walton more than by Ball himself). Yet on Friday, he generated some when he was on the court. Or more specifically, walking off it.
Ball’s stroll to the sideline coincided with an extracurricular skirmish between teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Phoenix’s Tyler Ulis, and left Ball looking like less than a team-first guy. He might have been the adult on the hardwood in that moment, but he also strayed from expected NBA protocol when it comes to rushing toward a scrum rather than walking away, at least in the initial flare-up stages.
Bill Oram of the Orange County Registerwas on hand to write – and Tweet – about it:
After meeting three times in the first month of the season, the Lakers and Phoenix Suns will spend the next few months apart so they can think about their feelings.
On Friday, the latest installment in a series of near-brawls came with 3:17 left in a 122-113 Suns win. Phoenix led by nine when Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope continued to harass point guard Tyler Ulis after a timeout was called. Ulis and Caldwell-Pope started shoving and the well-rehearsed choreography began again
Caldwell-Pope, Ulis and Suns’ rookie Josh Jackson, who came rushing in, all received technical fouls. Lonzo Ball avoided the altercation entirely, not breaking stride when he looked over his shoulder at the unfolding scene.
“It’s the NBA,” Ball said. “People ain’t really gonna fight, so I ain’t trying to get no tech.”
Ball, who made waves on Friday by sporting a tight new haircut, finished with six points, six rebounds and six assists. He also added five steals. Most notably, he played the entire fourth quarter after Walton had kept him on the bench in the fourth each of the two previous games.
That said, though, this figures to be the keeper clip from the game:
Band of Brothers, watch it sometime Lonzo pic.twitter.com/Onq2kMzQAv— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) November 18, 2017