Jason Kidd: Lonzo Ball Comparison 'A Stretch,' Lakers Rookie 'Has a Way to Go'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 9, 2017

Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd is pushing back against the comparisons that Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball plays the game like he did. 

Kidd offered his assessment of Ball when asked what a player needs to compare to his style of play during an appearance on ESPN's First Take (via Ryne Nelson of SLAM):

"I think the first thing is does someone play hard for 48 minutes, and are you willing to do anything to win.

"And so far it's still early in his career, and as someone said earlier, it's a stretch. He has to understand what it means to play hard and what it means to win, and how to win at the highest level. And it takes time.

"In three years, hopefully there's a better comparison, but right now it's a stretch and he has a way to go.”

Comparisons between Ball and Kidd were easy to make when Ball was being evaluated for the NBA draft. Both are point guards known for their passing abilities who were born in California, went to college in their home state and led their school to the NCAA tournament. 

Kidd said in July that comparisons to Ball were "a great compliment."

"He has a skill set," he said, via Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. "He can make the game easy for guys who can score the ball. He knows how to win. He has a very high IQ, basketball IQ."

Ball's NBA career has gotten off to a shaky start. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft is averaging 8.8 points, 6.8 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game, but his 29.5 field-goal percentage ranks 81st out of 90 point guards who have played at least one game this season.

Kidd was never a renowned shooter during his playing career, but he shot a respectable 40 percent overall and 34.9 percent from three-point range in 19 NBA seasons.