Magic Johnson: Lonzo Ball is "new face of Lakers"

Ross Houston
June 24, 2017

"It's going to be a surprise for you guys and me". "We expect a "Ball" jersey hanging up there, alright?" Ball has that name appeal in a place that is all about big names. We want to thank him for what he did for us. Johnson begged comically before Ball could even get in his first words at the press conference. Ball will wear No. 2 on his jersey.

The youngsters are a big part of the Lakers' future after the worst four-year stretch in franchise history, but general manager Rob Pelinka also confirmed that Johnson's strategy is to land big free-agent stars in 2018.

The praise didn't stop there from Johnson went as far as stating that he believes Ball would one day have his jersey retired by the team and challenge numerous franchise records held by the NBA Hall of Famer.

The sneaker's "Sho'time" theme is inspired by the Lakers' dominance during the 1980s with players such as Magic Johnson (current Lakers president of basketball operations) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "D'Angelo is an excellent player".

"All of us know that he has the ability to make other players around him better".

Russell had flashes of brilliance with the Lakers, but also made headlines for the wrong reasons (secretly recording Nick Young's infidelities).

Just a few days before the draft, the Lakers were able to trade Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets with D'Angelo Russell in exchange for Brook Lopez and the 27 overall pick in the NBA Draft. The tide has turned.

The Los Angeles Lakers feel as if they've added a player in Lonzo Ball who can do for their team what Tom Brady did for the New England Patriots. Lakers fans should be excited. I talked to, I think, four teachers, they all said at different times, this guy, everybody attracts to this guy.

Since Los Angeles landed the second overall pick back in mid-May, there had been the steady expectation that the team would take the former UCLA product. It's expected that the Lakers will chase both players. We're back. This draft is outstanding-not just Lonzo; Kyle (Kuzma); Josh (Hart); Thomas (Bryant). "I'm going to have some custom-made shoes that I think nobody ever had before". "We're looking for co-branding, a true partner".

"Lonzo Ball is going to take the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year", Ball told Jeff Goodman of ESPN. The Lakers believe that Lonzo is a hard worker. "For me it's just fun, what I love to do". Magic told Lonzo with a grin. "Don't break all my records".

"I don't think there's one thing you can learn from him".

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