Steph Curry, who paved the way for Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, is rookie’s next challenge
By Bill Oram
EL SEGUNDO — For members of the Ball family, the 3-point line is merely a suggestion. In high school and at UCLA, it was not uncommon for Lonzo Ball to pull up from just past midcourt and shoot.
Same story for his little brother, LaMelo, who might be even more famous – and criticized – for his long-range attempts.
While Lonzo Ball’s intercontinental shooting has been recalibrated to a range more acceptable in the NBA, there is no mistaking the genesis of his style to the work of Steph Curry with Golden State.
“He is kind of the first one to do it in the NBA like that and (we) just kind of ran with it from there,” Ball said.
Ball and his brothers might have been firing from extreme distance before Curry came along, but the two-time league MVP’s success certainly normalized it at all levels.
“At first we were kind of getting criticized for it,” Ball said. “But after he pretty much opened the gateway, everybody was cool with it.”
Ball will face off against Curry for the first time on Wednesday when the Warriors (15-6) visit the Lakers (8-12) at Staples Center. Ball is shooting just 30.9 percent from the floor and 24.3 percent from 3-point range.
“A lot more to basketball than shooting,” Ball said following Tuesday’s practice.
Ball’s first matchup with Curry and the defending champion Warriors would seem to have some extra juice due to comments made by Ball’s pot-stirring father, LaVar, that his oldest son was better than Curry.
Speaking to reporters in Oakland on Tuesday, Curry said those comments were “comic relief” and proceeded to heap praise upon Ball.
“I’ve always said he’s a great talent,” Curry said. “I think he loves to play basketball, so he’ll be able to fight through all that and have a great career. I hope you […]