Lonzo's numbers nearly identical to Kidd's 12 games in
Jason Kidd was asked Thursday if Lonzo Ball reminds him of himself at a similar age. He called that "a stretch."
The Milwaukee Bucks coach is bound for the Hall of Fame, while Ball is 12 games into his NBA career. But while it's a ridiculously small sample size, Ball has effectively mirrored what Kidd accomplished in the opening stanza of his rookie season.
Comparing Kidd during Bill Clinton's first term and Trump-era Ball goes beyond a slight physical resemblance. Both players came into the league as highly touted point guards with a sixth sense for facilitating, and as active rebounders for their position. Kidd, like Ball, began his career on a youth-heavy squad with little hope of playoff basketball.
There are also clear differences. Ball has struggled at the free-throw line - and with his shot in general - but is a better shot-blocker (0.8 swats per contest).
Kidd's only real solid performance in his first dozen games came in the third contest - 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting in a Mavericks win over the 76ers on Nov. 11, 1994. For Ball, the only truly strong outing so far came in his second game - a near-triple double on a volume-heavy 27 shots against the Suns.
As good as Kidd was for almost two decades, he shot under 40 percent from the floor in nine of his 19 NBA seasons. While he became a better perimeter marksman as his career progressed, at least part of that was a function of the league's gradual embrace of 3-point shooting.
With Ball, the shooting needs to be there, even with his unorthodox stroke. It's extremely difficult to imagine a starting NBA point guard in the next decade routinely shooting under 40 percent and keeping his job. Pure talent indicates he should be able to work out his issues, but it may have to diverge slightly from Kidd's path.
Either way, Ball is in good company 12 games in.
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