Lonzo Ball played his first preseason game and badly missed his first 3-point attempt. The rest of the league can exhale now.
Yes, the Los Angeles Lakers landed LeBron James this summer. Yes, they already had one of the league’s most interesting young cores, with potential stars like Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, and talented role players like Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart. Yes, they have seemingly unending financial resources and legacy and locale to be in the discussion for any top tier free agent or star on the trade block. But moldable young talent plus the NBA’s best player and offseason’s biggest prize doesn’t necessarily equal inevitability.
For anyone bereft with the Lakers impending ascendence, I offer you this — Lonzo’s first 3-pointer of the preseason.
Ball rises with confidence and even holds the follow-through so he has a clear view of the ball missing the rim entirely and dropping into the waiting hands of Kevin Durant. I believe the kids call this a “fail.”
Sure, Lonzo was 3-of-4 for the rest of the game and chipped in four rebounds, four steals and two assists in just 23 minutes. And, yes, this was his first preseason action this season. Still, it was the universe letting you know that everything was going to be okay. There is no perfect team, there is no perfect player. Everyone misses sometimes. Heck, even Cindy Crawford had her mole and some frisky dermatologists used to argue that it was the mole itself that made her face so appealing.
Lonzo won’t miss them all either, and there’s every reason to think that both he and the Lakers could be very good, this season and into the future. But the universe wants you to know that it’s okay to be whatever you are, wart, and ugly air-balled jumpers and all.