Lonzo Ball Says Lakers Could Have Won NBA Championship Last Season

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The brief period of two seasons that Lonzo Ball spent with Los Angeles Lakers saw him enter as the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and leave as one of the pieces in the Anthony Davis deal.

In a recent radio interview, Ball says that had injuries not intervened last season, the Lakers would have been NBA champions.

Ball appeared on Los Angeles radio station Real 92.3 and spoke with morning show host Big Boy. The pivotal stretch where Ball believes the Lakers’ season went off the rails was the end of 2018.

“I thought we had a good chance, honestly,” Ball said. “Looking back on it, we were moving in the right direction and then ‘Bron (LeBron James) went down, [Rajon] Rondo went down, I went down, B.I. (Brandon Ingram) went down, so it was just like … there was a point we were looking at the stands for people because we ain’t got no bodies.”

Following a Christmas Day rout of the defending champion Golden State Warriors, the Lakers’ season record was 20-14, just 2.5 games behind the Warriors. From that point, the Lakers won just 17 of their final 48 games.

That Warriors win was costly because James suffered an injured groin in the contest and ended up being limited to just 55 games. In addition, Rondo sprained his ring finger and missed 14 games after having already missed 17 games with a hand injury.

Finally, Ingram missed the final six weeks of the season due to a shoulder injury that was diagnosed as deep vein thrombosis. He ended up joining Ball in the deal with New Orleans.

In Ball’s two seasons with the Lakers, he dealt with his own share of injuries. As a rookie during the 2017-18 campaign, he dealt with shoulder and knee issues. Last year, it was ankle trouble that had him sidelined for a good portion of the year.

That problem with staying healthy is why Ball has been limited to playing in just 99 of the 164 Lakers games during the past two seasons. He will now be a member of the New Orleans Pelicans and is seeking to boost his career averages of 10.0 points, 6.4 assists and 6.2 steals per game.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.