A Wheeler's Opinion: Lonzo Ball is a Better Rookie than Kobe Bryant?

The numbers aren't lying unfortunately


Lonzo Ball is actually playing better than Kobe Bryant in his rookie season.

Hold it right there, folks. This basketball pundit on wheels doesn't mean any disrespect to Kobe Bryant because, like most fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe has been one of this pundit's favorite players. Why? For starters, he's a 5-time NBA champion, holds the second-highest scoring game at 81 points, set tons of records plus other awards in his 20-year stint with the Purple and Gold.

Fast forward to the 2017-2018 season where the Lakers are at 6-10 after 16 games, one guy is constantly disappointing everyone despite the hype that was thrown around him even before his grand arrival in LA. His name is Lonzo Ball. Why disappointing? Below are the numbers:

  • 8.8 points per game
  • 6.6 rebounds per game
  • 6.8 assists per game (Leads the team)
  • 1.6 steals per game (Leads the team)
  • 0.9 blocks per game

While Lonzo Ball had been able to score in double figures multiple times this season, his shooting percentages are one of the ugly things that can be associated to the Lakers' early struggles to start the new season. How bad is Lonzo's shooting so far? Check out the percentages below:

  • 30.8% from the field
  • 22.7% from the three-point line
  • 36.4% from the two-point area
  • 46.% from the free throw line

See? They're horrible shooting percentages even for a rookie. And Head Coach Luke Walton has already stressed that Lonzo Ball will remain as the Lakers' starting point guard despite his offensive woes which have been hampering the Lakers in many ways.




However, we all have to keep in mind that despite all the hypes, Lonzo Ball is still a rookie, to begin with. Having mentioned that, let's also take a look at the numbers of Kobe Bryant during his also well-hyped rookie season: 

  • 7.6 points per game
  • 1.9 rebounds per game
  • 1.3 assists per game
  • 0.7 steals per game
  • 0.9 blocks per game

And yet Kobe Bryant went on to become one of the game's elite scorers the NBA has seen. In fact, many considered him as his generation's Michael Jordan. And mind you, folks, then 18-year-old Kobe Bryant entered the NBA straight from high school so that was a big leap on Kobe's part.

Conclusion


Now, this pundit isn't saying that Lonzo Ball can replace Kobe Bryant as the greatest Laker of all time because there will always be one and only Kobe Bryant. But if you look at the statistics of both players and compare them,  Lonzo Ball is a better rookie than Kobe Bryant and Lonzo has a long way to go in his rookie season. More points to score. More records to smash. And hopefully, more games to win.


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