Colin Cowherd explains why he was right about Lonzo Ball not being a bust for Magic’s Lakers

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Reflecting on Lonzo Ball leading the LA Lakers to a 131-113 victory over the Miami heat, Colin Cowherd explains why the Purple and Gold's rookie PG is not a bust, unearthing stats behind Ball that only 3 other rookies have ever managed to accomplish in NBA history.

- Nobody ever had a problem when I was in the Northeast and liked the Yankees. But people in the Northeast are so spoiled because ESPN has always been very East Coast leaning. I was the one guy at that company that actually acknowledged there were cities Denver west. And, you know, I'll get this from time to time: Oh, you're such a West Coast homer. No, I just acknowledged the West Coast exists unlike the other network.

And I get this from time and time: You're a West Coast homer. Show me where I was wrong. I told you Chris Paul was great, and it was going to work in Houston. It wasn't because he was a Clipper. I'm right. I told you the Rams would be the most improved team in the league. I was right. I told you Sam Darnold was going to be, a year and a half ago, the number one pick. I'm about to be right. I told you Lonzo Ball wasn't a bust. Wasn't because he's a Laker.

Show me where I'm wrong on my LA takes. LA is just in a time right now, that they've got some really interesting players. Darnold was interesting. I have also told you, I think the Lakers have to get two stars. They've got some components here. They're not going anywhere. I took the under on the Lakers, over/under. Now, I also took the under on the Sixers, over/under, and I think they're going to surpass that.

But last night, I'm watching Lonzo Ball, and I've been telling you this: he's not a bust. His dad's a loud mouth, he is a Laker, and the expectations were outrageous. But he was the best. Well, I'll just let Luke Walton tell you because last night, the kid's going 10, 7, and 7. He's a real NBA player, and he's just a baby coming off an injury. Here was Luke Walton last night.

LUKE WALTON: To me, he was probably the best player on the court tonight, and I think he only shot five times, which is why we've been so high on him from day one. He's one of the very unique players. It doesn't matter if he's taking shots and scoring 20 or naught, he can impact the game all over. And he was doing that for us tonight.

- One of the things that drives me crazy about the media is that it used to be, like for instance, when you were an announcer you worked for a radio station. You didn't work for the team. Well, all the teams now have brought broadcasting in-house, meaning the Dodgers announcers, they work for the team. So, everybody now is a homer. You can't hear a play-by-play guy at any level locally that's not in the bag for the team.

And, I'll also say this about reporting. And I'm not sure exactly why this is. Newspapers have been cutting for years. But, it used to be you could find local news people that would criticize local teams. I was shocked, when I lived out in Boston and New York, how many members of the media were just abject homers. I mean, in Boston it's ridiculous.

Any story, John you grew up there, any story against the Patriots, everybody's out to get the Patriots. Are you kidding me? The league's out to get us. Are you kidding me? Spygate. Deflategate. There's obviously tension within the organization.

So, whenever I hear, come on, you moved out west, where have I been wrong? Even Lane Kiffin, I'm like, dude can coach. He went to Alabama. He's the best coordinator 'Bama has ever had offensively. Now, he took over a job at Florida Atlantic or something. They won the conference. The guy can coach. The guy can absolutely coach. Don't have to like him.

I'm watching Lonzo Ball last night. He's not a bust. If you go to the top six picks in the NBA draft right now, just line up the top six NBA picks. Most people think Jayson Tatum, the number three pick, is the best player. He's averaging 13 a game. Coming out of Duke, he's really, really good and really, really talented.

Let's look at the top six picks right now in the NBA draft. Markelle Fultz. He's either hurt or a bust. Neither is good. Lonzo Ball's going 10, 7, and 7. How many players in the league? He's one of four rookies in NBA history to do 10, 7, and 7. Jayson Tatum, I think, is going to be a really nice player. Josh Jackson, I like. He's athletic, but he cannot shoot. De'Aaron Fox had an incredibly slow start. He doesn't have the length or the size or the passing ability of Lonzo. I do think he'll be a nice scorer in the NBA, but right now he's not as good as Lonzo Ball. And the Isaac kid for Orlando's not, Jonathan Isaacs, it's not great.

So, you took a look at the top six players. I'd make an argument he's number two. And I would say Jayson Tatum has one big advantage. He walked into the best young coach in the NBA. They're not relying on him to drop 20. He's got a superstar point guard, a veteran big. And if Gordon Hayward was here, they would ask even less of him

He didn't have any pressure on him. Lonzo Ball's got pressure on him. Lonzo Ball's got a loud dad. Lot of expectations with Lonzo Ball. Jayson Tatum? I mean, the Celtics are the third most popular team in their own city after the Red Sox and Patriots. There's no pressure on him to score at all. It's Kyrie and Al Horford's team, and eventually it'll be Kyrie, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford's team. So yeah, I think the kid can play.