Lonzo Ball will make his long-awaited debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, where he’ll get the chance to show off the work he put in during the offseason, particularly his work in the weight room.
Ball came into media day looking noticeably stronger and after practice on Tuesday, he gave an updated on just how much weight he put on over the summer. He also talked about how his newfound strength has made things easier for him on the court.
“You can feel a big difference. Last year I was 190 and this year I’m about 205-210, depending on the day. It helps a lot … I can get to the basket easier, switch better guarding bigs. I play 1-4 switch to it helps me a lot,” Ball said.
One of the biggest knocks on Ball going into his rookie season is that his body wasn’t ready for the NBA. At 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, Ball’s frame is comparable to the frames of John Wall, Gary Harris, Victor Oladipo and Spencer Dinwiddie. Suffice to say, that’s no longer a talking point.
However, 15 to 20 pounds is a lot of weight to put on in one offseason. That same rapid weight gain was a contributing factor in Ben Simmons’ season-ending foot injury in his rookie season. Perhaps Ball’s rehab was so long because they wanted to see how his body responded to the added weight he put on. If so, that was a wise precaution on the training staff’s part.
Ball will only play a few minutes on Wednesday, but it will be enough time to see the difference his added muscle makes on the court. If everything that has come out of the locker room so far holds true, Ball’s added strength and bulky frame only promises to bring good things for the Lakers.