Los Angeles Lakers

Worthy comparing Lonzo to Magic shows Lakers starved for spark

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball listens to the national anthem before the team's NBA summer league basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Monday, July 17, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
(AP Photo/John Locher)

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t had a transcendent point guard since … Nick Van Exel? Derek Fisher? Steve Nash and his injury-ridden stint with the Lakers when the alleged Dream Team crumpled like a brown paper bag? We can all agree that it was back when Magic Johnson was running the offense; so yeah, it’s been a while.

There’s hope on the horizon with rookie floor general Lonzo Ball, who could be the next divine point guard to don purple and gold.

An electric playmaker with full-court vision and a knack for dishing apples, the expectations were already high for the No. 2-overall pick.

They just got a little higher.

“He enhances everybody on the court,” Lakers assistant and Hall of Fame member James Worthy said of Ball, according to TMZ Sports“We haven’t had someone with that type of talent really since Magic.”

You can already hear sobbing Lakers fans, lower-lip quivers and all, screaming with rage while pointing back at the Kobe Bryant poster hanging above their family room mantles.

Worthy opened the door for sizing Lonzo’s talent to Kobe’s in that the assistant haphazardly sidestepped the Black Mamba era and traced back to the mid-80s to find the last Lakers great.

Fear not.

We’ll take our MJ-Lebron and Kobe-LeBron debates and hot takes to the graves with us; we don’t need to start worrying about adding a Lonzo-Kobe quarrel to the mix. Not yet.

Kobe was a deadly shooter and as pure of a talent as we’ve seen in the last two decades. Worthy’s remarks seem to size up Bryant and Ball more parallel, essentially speaking for all of Lakers fans with the addition of a true point guard — “Well, it’s about damn time.”

Worthy’s comments should be taken with a grain of salt, but parlay Ball’s expectations with an early glimpse at the UCLA product’s impact on the team through exhibition games in the Summer League, and there’s no wonder why even those going down in Lakers lore are so animated in what Ball can bring to a franchise currently retooling and working its way back to relevancy.

He was electric at UCLA with the ball in his hands. He was impactful under the microscope during Summer League. He’s got the charisma, playmaking abilities and locals up in arms.

Like always, expectations need to be tempered during preseason action, and headlines need to be read with caution. For Ball, it’s only enhanced with what he’s expected to bring to the Lakers.

A Magic Johnson-like tenure? You’d need to gaze into a crystal ball, folks.

Right now, he’s a ball of fire that warrants eyes aplenty.

That’s a good enough start.

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