Lonzo Ball is one of the hottest prospects in the NBA before playing a single professional game and that doesn’t happen, even in a LaVar Ball world, without the presence of a gifted skill set. Ball is a transcendent passer blessed with good size and fantastic instincts at the point guard position but, with that said, there are some potential question marks with his game.
One of the most significant questions arrives in the form of his unorthodox shooting form. NBA 2K18 is already featuring that form in video game form and LeBron James has already (seemingly) mocked the way Ball fires from the outside. Still, the results were largely strong at the college level and it isn’t as if Ball has unanimous doubters when it comes to his ability to stretch opposing defenses.
With that as the backdrop, however, Milwaukee Bucks head coach and future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd sat down for an extensive interview with the OnPar podcast and, within that discussion, the topic of Ball came to light. For starters, Kidd acknowledged that one of Ball’s primary comparisons has been to the similarly sized Kidd and, from there, he even gave the youngster a big-time compliment.
Still, the bigger takeaway may have been that Kidd joined the chorus of skeptics on Ball’s jumper, including the notion that he may need to change it to ultimately succeed.
“Lonzo Ball has gotten a lot of comparison (to me). I think, watching him in Vegas, I thought he understands the floor. He understands the situation. He finds the open guy. Only time can tell… he might be better than I am.”
“You’ve got to try to fix it. There is going to be times where the defense is going to sit on it. Being a young player in this league, you don’t understand how you can make the game easier. As veterans, those words are key. If you can make the game easier for me, I can play longer and I can be more efficient.”
“For Ball, I think you’ve got to look at him being able to work on the jump shot because of being able to go only one way without it being defended well.”
Kidd is far from the first person to suggest that Ball’s form could hold him back, but he brings a special level of credibility to that take. On one hand, much of Kidd’s tremendous career took place before he matured into a high-level shooter from long distance in his later years. On the other, Kidd was also a much better pure athlete with more physical strength than Ball, allowing him to overcome his shooting woes with blunt force and explosiveness.
The questions on Ball’s overall game and, especially, his jumper will persist in the future, but even amid questions about his long-range ability, it seems as if Jason Kidd is a fan of his game.