Lonzo Ball speaks out on ‘dream come true’ tenure with Lakers after confirming he’ll miss all of 2023-24 NBA season

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers and current Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball shared that he doesn’t regret his tenure in Los Angeles, calling it a “dream come true.”

Ball was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He played collegiately at the University of California, Los Angeles and grew up in Chino Hills, Calif., so playing with the Lakers was a homecoming for Ball.

“I don’t think we ever got on the same page my rookie year,” Ball said of his Lakers tenure. “That kind of changed my second year when we got [Rajon] Rondo and Bron (LeBron James) and some more vets around the team to really guide young guys. You know, that’s really important, in the league, showing us the way and stuff like that. And…it was going good, but we all got hurt, that second year. But other than that, I don’t regret nothing. Like you said, I played for my hometown team. That was a dream come true for me.”

The Lakers traded Ball after two seasons with the team in a blockbuster deal to acquire forward Anthony Davis. While shipping out a former No. 2 overall pick certainly stung, the Lakers made the right move, as they went on to win the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 season with Davis on the roster.

Ball, who has played for the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls since being traded by the Lakers, has had some unfortunate luck in his NBA career.

During the 2021-22 season, the Bulls guard suffered a knee injury that cost him the remainder of that season and the 2022-23 campaign. Ball revealed that he also will miss the 2023-24 season after having another procedure on his knee.

“I’m already out this whole next season,” Ball said. “So, when I first got hurt, we didn’t really know what it was. I was seeing all different types of doctors and stuff, and I was kinda just going up and down. And that was really hard for me because I just didn’t know what the next day was gon’ be like.”

When healthy, Ball is a really solid player on both ends of the floor. For his career, Ball averages 11.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc.

The UCLA star was having arguably the best shooting season of his career in the 2021-22 season, shooting 42.3 percent from 3.

For Lakers fans, it’s cool to see Ball open up about his time with the team since he was such a highly touted prospect out of UCLA. While things didn’t work out how either side expected, it still seems like he enjoyed his time with the franchise.

Hopefully, Ball will make a full recovery from his knee and be able to get back on the court following the 2023-24 campaign.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.