Alonzo Ball Bounces Back  


Lonzo Ball

Alonzo Ball, the No. 2 Pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, scored 3 points in his rookie debut against the LA Clippers. Three points.  That’s 3 as in right after two and just before four. Ball finished the night with three points, nine rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. At times, Ball displayed his elite court vision with lengthy, fast break passes. Other times, Ball looked passive, lacking the aggression fans hoped for from a top three draft pick. But thee points? And he only attempted six shots? Please. 

But hold the presses. One game does not a season make.  

His head coach defended his celebrated rookie recruit with this: “I think Lonzo’s getting a bad [rap] for getting destroyed his first game,”  Coach Luke Walton said before the second game of the season. “Personally, I thought he could have had a double-double with rebounds and assists [but] we didn’t make any shots. … I thought he was fine last night. It’s a good learning experience for everybody.”

It was a good learning experience indeed.

And learn quickly from this experience he did, because Ball bounced back with a bang. On Friday night in the second game of his career, Ball bounced back by flashing the kind of triple-double versatility that made the Lakers select him second overall in the draft. He displayed the kind of passing that dazzled at the Las Vegas Summer League and knocked down four 3’s, including a step-back 3-pointer.

Ball is the first teenager since LeBron James to have 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. His 29 points are the most by a Laker in his first or second game of his career since at least 1963. Magic Johnson scored 26 in his debut.

And that’s what we need to do. We all need to bounce back, and quickly. So don’t let a bad day or a bad night or a bad week or even a bad season set you back or hold you back. Don’t let a letdown keep you down or hold you down. Get back up and get back going!  Ball did. He’s got a lot of hype and a lot of hope riding on his shoulders, and he proved that he can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ as he flipped the script and proved all of the doubters wrong, again.

So bounce back. Get back up. Dust yourself off. Recoup and reclaim and recover all that the devil stole from you. Because it’s not how many times you fall down that counts; it’s how many times you get back up.

A righteous person may fall seven times, but he gets up again.

Proverbs 24:16


Can Magic Pull A Rabbit Out of His Hat?


Is it Magic or is it just make-believe? Is it live or is it Memorex? (Remember that one?) Is it possible or is it just probable that Magic Johnson can turn the Lakers around?  And soon?

 The LA Lakers are 19- 42, tied for second to last place In the Western Conference. The Lakers Organization, and Laker Nation, and everyone living in Southern Cal are used to winning basketball games, and NBA Championships, in June. The Lakers have a long and storied history of success, dating way back. Jerry West won. Wilt Won. Kareem clobbered. Magic and then Kobe (and don’t forget Shaquille O’Neal) all won multiple championships and have multiple rings.

But can Magic work a miracle? Can he be the savior and save this sinking, stinking, reeking and reeling team in need of more than a trim here and there? Yes they have young Luke Skywalker, err . . . I mean, Luke Walton on board, plus several young promising players like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram; but . . .  The Lakers have room to grow as they have nowhere to go but up. However, it will be a steep climb for Johnson, who has no NBA front-office experience, to turn this young core into a championship team.

So, the question is this: can Earvin “Magic” Johnson sprinkle some pixy dust and wave his magic wand and pull a rabbit out of the hat?  The Lakers sure do hope so. 

So, if you missed it, here’s the news flash:

“The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they hired Magic Johnson to become president of basketball operations, firing GM Mitch Kupchak and Vice President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss.

The move comes weeks after the Lakers named Johnson an advisor to the team. Shortly after, Johnson admitted he would like a chance to “call the shots.”

In a statement announcing the hire, Lakers president Jeanie Buss said, “I took these actions today to achieve one goal: Everyone associated with the Lakers will now be pulling in the same direction, the direction established by Earvin and myself. We are determined to get back to competing to win NBA championships again.”

Johnson said in the statement, “Since 1979, I’ve been a part of the Laker Nation and I’m passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions.”

 Go Magic. We’re all pulling for ya.