Let me paint a picture of how the Los Angeles Lakers completely ruined my nearly perfect Saturday. It was June 15th, and I woke up at a comfortable 11 AM. After freshening up, I had Chipotle for lunch and spent the next couple of hours watching "The Office" episodes and some hilarious YouTube videos. Around 5:30 PM, I decided to take a well-needed nap. My Saturday was going smoothly, and I was entirely at peace. Suddenly, I awoke at 7:00 PM to a notification from ESPN that Lonzo Ball, one of my favorite basketball players, had been traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans. I rubbed my eyes to make sure that I was reading my phone correctly, and when I realized what had happened, I made some explicit remarks that I don't feel like repeating. Needless to say, I am pissed.
I became a Lonzo Ball fan in 2016 when he was a starting point guard for UCLA's basketball team. I fell in love with his passing ability, which was both smooth and efficient, considering he lead the NCAA Division 1 in assists per game that season. I also became a fan because of his father. His dad is Lavar Ball, and it would be an understatement to say that he loves to talk. Lavar is always causing controversy in the news by saying things like he could beat Michael Jordan in a basketball game and Lonzo is better than Steph Curry. Due to this, a lot of people began to hate on Lonzo and even his father. However, I looked past the "troll-worthy" comments and realized that Lavar is someone that wants to support his sons and help them succeed. While a lot of people were rooting against Lonzo, I immediately became a fan.
Now, it would be naive to say that Lonzo has taken the league by storm since being drafted by the Lakers. He hasn't. However, he has shown moments of greatness and the potential to be a superstar. In his first two seasons, he's averaged 10 points, six assists, six rebounds, and has gradually increased his field goal percentages while attempting fewer shots. Not to mention, Lonzo and the Lakers had been showing some serious progress as a team. For instance, Lonzo and Lebron were the first teammates since 2007 to both have a triple-double in a game. When the Lakers were healthy (without injuries from Lebron, Kuzma, Ingram, and Lonzo), they had 19 wins and 14 losses before beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day for their 20th win. Unfortunately, during that same game, Lebron would suffer an injury that would eventually derail the entire Lakers season. I have to repeat this, but the Lakers BEAT the defending champs when they were HEALTHY by twenty-six points. If that doesn't show the Lakers' ownership that this team was a playoff contender, then I don't know what would have.
This offseason, the Lakers traded away Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and three future first-round picks for Anthony Davis. I'm saying it now: the Lakers made a huge mistake. Lonzo is a gifted basketball player, and the Lakers foolishly gave up half of their young core and future picks for one basketball player. Lonzo and the rest of the New Orleans Pelicans are going to kill it during the 2019 NBA season and to quote Lavar Ball : "[The Lakers] will never win another NBA championship. Guaranteed."