Magic Johnson Calls Lonzo Ball Face of Lakers, Expects Retired Jersey

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 23, 2017

Lonzo Ball, right, poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the No. 2 overall pick during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

After the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft yesterday, the former UCLA star and team president Magic Johnson wasted no time raising expectations for the franchise.

Johnson opened the introductory press conference by calling Ball the "new face of the Lakers," per ESPN's J.A. Adande

Continuing with his opening remarks, Johnson pointed out all of the retired jerseys featuring Lakers legends, then had a comment for Ball. 

"We expect a Ball jersey hanging up there one day," Johnson said, per ESPN's Baxter Holmes

Johnson did note he hoped Ball wouldn't completely erase him from Lakers history. 

"Lonzo, leave me one or two records, OK?" he said, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News

Never one to back down from a challenge, Ball seemed receptive to the idea of eventually having his jersey retired by the Lakers, per Medina.

Ball has been given the keys to the Lakers franchise. If there was any doubt about that after Thursday's draft, Johnson confirmed this will be his team right away. 

The 19-year-old didn't have a problem being the face of UCLA basketball for his one season in college. It's likely a moment he's waited for his entire life, and now it's officially his time to carry the torch for the franchise.