Skip Bayless: ‘Lonzo Ball is a special basketball player, but he is not for the easily wowed fans’

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Skip Bayless lays out how Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball’s impact extends far beyond the stat sheet in a conversation with Shannon Sharpe on Undisputed. Is the rookie really a “basketball genius," as Skip calls him?

- My first takeaway from this was I think Luke Walton is going out of his way to mend fences with his number two overall pick. Because it would serve Luke well to have good rapport and relations with one, Lonzo Ball, going forward if Luke wants to remain the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. It's as simple as that.

And again, I am not trying to condemn Luke here, but I think he went way overboard in sitting Lonzo Ball for those fourth quarters early. And I did not blame LaVar slash Lonzo for complaining about it because it shamed him, and he didn't deserve that. Because there was already enough pressure on him to begin with, and it looked like his head coach was heaping even more pressure on him by saying, he's not even good enough to finish the game for us.

So I didn't appreciate that and now I think Luke is going out of his way, to your point, to say he was probably the best player on the floor. Now back to my point. I'm going to say this one more time, and I will keep saying this. Lonzo Ball is a special basketball player.

But he is not for the easily wowed fans because he is going to subtly impact the games in ways that aren't easily seen. They're not easily apparent to the naked eye of most viewers who run to their keyboards and tweet about, wow, a 50-point night or wow, a posterized dunk. Because you're probably not going to get those wows from this player.

- Or the handles like James Harden or--

- You're not going to get that. Lonzo Ball is made for the thinking fan. He is playing men's basketball. He is a young basketball genius. And the older players in the league have all-- I don't hear discouraging words from older players. I'm about to talk about what Dwayne Wade said about Lonzo after the game.

- They love him. It's that they're out on.

- I completely agree. But let's go back to the key category last night-- six steals. Wow, six deals. That's pretty good. He had three in the first quarter and just completely disrupted the Heat offense in the first quarter.

I will predict that one day, when Lonzo Ball grows up, he will lead this league in steals because he's really good at disrupting on that end. I'm not saying he's a great on ball, like one-on-one, in your face defender on the perimeter. I'm not saying that, because he's a little long for that, he's 6'7", and he's long. And his quickness is good, but not great. So that's why Magic, remember, went out and got KCP so that maybe he could take the point guard of the night, because Lonzo is going to have a little hard time, as we saw in the NCAA. Right? Remember how he--


- He got torched that night. So, I also think that people are missing the boat on the fact that for much of this year Lonzo Ball has led this team in rebounding, until just lately when Julius Randle barely passed him in the rebounding category. I think that when he grows up and gets his, as LaVar calls it, the ball body, because LaVar has got a ball body. When he grows up and his body matures--

SHANNON SHARPE: And the middle boy does also.

- He already has his. So could he average 10 rebounds a game? I do believe-- he's averaging seven plus now. So could he, at some point, Lonzo Ball, average a triple double for a season? Absolutely, he could. Now again, the points are going to be 14. They're not going to be 28 or 30, they're going to be 14. Maybe 16 or 17, but when he finally grows up.