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Steph Curry has nothing but encouraging words for Lonzo Ball

Despite bulletin material from Ball’s father, Stephen Curry is taking the high road with the Lakers’ rookie

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors face the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night for the first time this season. That means they’ll be getting their first glimpse of one of the hottest topics of the year: Lonzo Ball.

The former UCLA sensation was drafted second overall by the Lakers, and has had the public eye on him every step of the way. Partially due to his unique style, partially due to his location, and partially due to his loud, confident, speak-it-into-existence father LaVar, Lonzo Ball has had the spotlight firmly attached to him.

For the most part, he’s struggled. His shot hasn’t been falling, and he’s been one of the worst scorers in the league. Still, there have been bright spots: his passing is impressive, his defense is strong, he’s recorded two triple-doubles, and the Lakers have looked decent at times.

But you wouldn’t blame Warriors’ superstar Stephen Curry if he wanted to take some shots at Ball. Established NBA players have a long history of trying to welcome rookies to the league in aggressive ways, and that is only amplified by rookies with hype.

Plus, when Ball was at UCLA, his father had some controversial statements about Curry. In March, LaVar Ball appeared on ESPN’s First Take, and suggested that if Lonzo Ball and Curry switched teams, UCLA would get worse, and the Warriors would get better.

But when asked about Ball, Curry took the high road. He offered encouragement for the struggling rookie, and preached patience for those trying to evaluate him so early.

If you can’t see the picture, here’s some of what Curry said:

He’s a rookie. He’s going through the ups and down like every rookie has, whether you’re highly touted or not. It’s all a learning experience, trying to find your way and be comfortable . . . I’ve always said he’s a great talent, I think he loves to play basketball, so he’ll be able to fight through that and have a great career. Hope you didn’t judge me off my first 20 games in the league, either.

Curry was also asked about the comments from the Ball family’s patriarch, and had a good laugh.

Kevin Durant also chimed in on the Lakers’ rookie and, like Curry, had words of encouragement.

Good on Curry and Durant for taking the high road, and being ambassadors for the next generation of NBA talent.

And with that said . . . if those two are healthy enough to play in Los Angeles, it will be fun to see them go up against Ball.

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