As LeBron James and Rajon Rondo continue to slowly make their way back to the court, Lonzo Ball is trying to fill the massive leadership void left for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nowhere near as vocal as James, Rondo and veteran center Tyson Chandler, Ball wants to try to lead by example first and then be vocal when needed.
“It’s just a big void to fill,” Ball said. “LeBron and Rondo are arguably two of the best leaders ever. Having both of them out, that’s two of our main guys who are talking on the court. It’s new for me. It’s new for B.I. [Brandon Ingram]. Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] probably talks the most out of all of us.”
“… For me, it’s more about action,” Ball added of how he tries to lead. “I don’t think you can talk if you’re not doing your job. So, it starts with that for me, and go from there.”cheap nfl jerseys nike china
Ball — who is averaging 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists while shooting 32.7 percent from 3-point range this season — was asked if there is another player he has seen who leads more by example and isn’t as vocal.
“Not that I know of,” Ball initially answered. “Every team I played on, I kind of [have] been the leader for it. Obviously, Rondo and Bron talk all the time. I don’t know how [Toronto Raptors forward] Kawhi [Leonard] is, but if I had to pick one [player who is quiet and leads by example], I’d probably say him.”
The Lakers (23-21) have struggled in going 3-7 since James (groin) and Rondo (hand) were both injured on Christmas Day in a win over the Golden State Warriors. They’ve dropped their past two games, including a 101-95 defeat at home to Cleveland, which had lost 12 in a row.
James and Rondo have continued to try to lead as much as they can from the sideline while Chandler has assumed the vocal leadership mantle on the court. But while James is out, the Lakers are looking to Ball, Ingram and Kuzma to keep the Lakers afloat in the Western Conference playoff standings. The Lakers were tied for eighth in the standings entering Monday night’s games.nfl cheap nike jerseys
“We want to win,” Ball said of the Lakers’ young trio while James is out. “It’s kind of our team right now. The team’s looking to us to make things happen, and we are not doing that. We just go to do better.”
Rondo — who was cleared to begin dribbling and working with his right hand, on which he had surgery on Dec. 28 to repair a ligament in his ring finger — has been trying to mentor Ball and bring out more emotion in him. Earlier this season, Ball said Rondo would accomplish that by talking trash to him in practices and getting the younger point guard to play angrier. Rondo also would organize players-only film sessions.
“We’re talking … Tyson and I and LeBron, we’re all trying to teach them what to say,” Rondo said of trying to help Ball, Ingram and Kuzma. “Because a lot of times, people don’t know what to say, so they don’t talk. And right now, it’s been a learning curve in terms of a lot of film sessions, in terms of what guys see out there and what they’re supposed to say.”