Nick Wright unveils Lonzo Ball stats that even LeBron James can’t keep compete with

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In his discussion with Chris Broussard, Nick Wright reveals why he believes Lonzo Ball is a far better player than people give him credit for, noting eye-opening, statistical accomplishments that neither Jason Kidd, Penny Hardaway or even LeBron James managed to tally as rookies.

- For some people that had such distaste for LaVar that they wanted-- look, LaVar was out in Lithuania doing his Facebook show--

CRIS CARTER: Yeah.

- --doing his-- the guy they could take it out on, the guy we could discuss every day was Lonzo. And Lonzo did struggle early. Early on, he was the least efficient offensive scorer in the league. In the paint, outside the paint, from 3-point line.

There was a period in time where it looked like Lonzo just had lost his ability-- not to the Markelle Fultz level-- but lost his ability to shoot the basketball. But I want to show the audience, like, look at his first 24 games and the last 15. Look at the shooting percentages. 44% from the field for a rookie is fine.

CRIS CARTER: Yeah.

NICK WRIGHT: 42% from 3 for anyone is outstanding. Now, I don't think he's really a 42% 3-point shooter. But that's over the last 15 games.

CRIS CARTER: Yeah.

- Compare that to what he was the first 24, where he was less than 32% from the field, less than 25% from 3. So he has markedly improved. But here's the other thing, Cris, even with the whole season, even with the first 24 games, he's giving you 10, 7, and 7 and night.

CRIS CARTER: Yup.

- In NBA history, here's the list of rookies to do that-- Oscar, Magic, Ben Simmons, and Lonzo. So prior to this year, only Oscar and Magic had ever as rookies given you 10, 7, and 7. Penny didn't do it. Kidd didn't do it. LeBron didn't do it. Like, so he is helping you other places. And you mentioned it when we played one of the highlights, where he has surprised me, and where he didn't get any credit, even early in the year, or especially early in the year, is as a defender.

I thought he would be an enormous defensive liability because despite his length, he doesn't strike me as overly athletic, overly quick. I thought he would get put in the torture chamber by some of the great point guards in the west. He has been-- you said a coach said he might be their best defender.

CRIS CARTER: Yeah, yeah.