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Former Los Angeles Lakers star James Worthy is clearly a big fan of rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, comparing him to Magic Johnson in an interview with TMZ Sports released Sunday.
“He enhances everybody on the court,” he said. “We haven’t had someone with that type of talent really since Magic.”
While the Lakers have had some talented players between Johnson’s time with the team (1979-80 to 1990-91 and 1995-96) and the present day—Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal come to mind—Worthy seemed to be talking about Ball’s similarities to Johnson as a point guard.
“I really like him as a player,” he added. “He’s extremely unselfish. He’s a team player.”
As for any distractions Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, may bring to the table, Worthy didn’t seem too concerned.
“LaVar loves his kids. He loves his family. He’s turning out to be a marketing genius,” he noted. “I only pay attention to what’s on the court. His dad has been pretty much his trainer and coach for most of his life. I don’t really look too far into it—I just think that Lonzo is quiet, methodical. He recovers from bad games and stuff, so I’m cool with that.”
Worthy, 56, was one of the key Lakers during the Showtime years. He spent his entire career with the team (1982-94), averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and winning three championships.
Suffice it to say, Worthy’s words carry weight around the Lakers organization, and his take on Lonzo Ball was high praise, indeed.