When Johnson and Pelinka went to Chino Hills to visit Lonzo and his family, the two executives knew that Lonzo was the perfect piece to the Lakers puzzle. In spending breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all cooked by LaVar, with training mixed in, the Ball family showed what they were about.
“It was an issue of character for us,” Johnson said at the introductory press conference, “The Ball family is committed to everyone in their lives. Their commitment to training and excellence is apparent.”
The vetting of Lonzo Ball, though, did not stop there. Teachers, professors, and coaches at Chino Hills and UCLA sat down with Johnson and Pelinka, and what stuck in their minds was the way Lonzo treated other people.
“The way he treats people is special,” Johnson said, “He knows everybody’s name and makes the people around him want to be better.”
Some call the Chino Hills native a hometown hero, and he knows what it is like to carry an entire city on his back.
“I’m used to it,” Ball told the media, “I’ve been asked to do it my whole life. It’s very humbling,” he continued, “not a lot of people come from [Chino Hills], and I’m proud to be from there and happy to put on for them.”
Magic Johnson is excited to see Lonzo bring out the best in his teammates: "Larry Nance on the lob! Wow!" https://t.co/nENMQzup3l