Lonzo Ball named NBA Summer League MVP as Lakers win championship

The Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, center, celebrates with teammate Kyle Kuzma, right, after the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 110-98 in an NBA summer league championship basketball game, Monday, July 17, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Lonzo Ball didn’t play in the Lakers’ 110-98 NBA Summer League championship win over the Portland Trailblazers, but the former UCLA point guard still claimed league MVP honors Monday in Las Vegas.

Ball was held out due to a calf injury Monday, but averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 assists and 7.7 rebounds in his six games. Travis Wear, another former Bruin, also helped the Lakers to their summer league championship.

More from the OC Register’s Bill Oram on the championship game

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UCLA basketball links: Bruins in the NBA Summer League

Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball shoots over Los Angeles Clippers’ Brice Johnson (10) during overtime of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) ORG XMIT: NVJL117

Lonzo Ball‘s much-anticipated NBA Summer League debut for the Lakers started with a bang: an alley-oop pass to Brandon Ingram on the team’s very first possession.

The former UCLA Bruin’s night ended with his father LaVar Ball saying Lonzo did “the worst you can do,” after Ball was 2 for 15 shooting in the Lakers’ 96-93 overtime loss to the Clippers in Las Vegas on Friday.

Despite struggling with his shot, Ball still made an impact with five assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block.

More on Ball’s Summer League debut

Other links:

  • TJ Leaf was one of NBA.com’s 10 standouts from the Orlando Summer League with the Indiana Pacers. He played in three of the Pacers’ five games, averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
    • Fellow Pacers draft pick Ike Anigbogu did not participate in any summer league games due to a knee injury, according to the Indianapolis Star.
    • Undrafted guard Isaac Hamilton averaged 5.3 points and one rebound in three summer league games with the Pacers.
  • From the Albuquerque Journal: Bryce Alford, who landed with the Golden State Warriors after going undrafted, will stick to what he knows best: shooting. The Warriors start their summer league schedule Saturday at 7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN against the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas.
  • Jonah Bolden, who attended UCLA for one year before going to Europe to turn pro, played in three game with the 76ers in the Utah Summer League, averaging 10 points and 5.3 rebounds. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about Bolden’s defensive versatility after he had a team-high four blocks in his debut. His team will continue summer league play in Las Vegas.
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UCLA basketball schedule revealed, sets up drama with USC

The UCLA basketball team will play at USC on the final day of the 2017-18 regular season, a game that could have large implications. (Thomas Cordova SCNG)

The Pac-12 conference basketball schedule released Thursday revealed both good and bad for UCLA.

Logistically, the Bruins can be thrilled with the stroke of luck that landed Arizona on their schedule just once in the regular season. The Wildcats could be a preseason No. 1 team in the country and avoiding a second meeting could be the difference in winning a conference championship. For example, Arizona and Oregon played each other just once last season, while UCLA had to play each twice, a fate that probably cost it a share of the conference title.

The timing of UCLA’s matchups with USC, which could form the top tier in the Pac-12 along with Arizona and UCLA, isn’t particularly favorable for the Bruins.

UCLA plays at USC in the final game of the regular season, where a more talented Bruins team than the 2017-18 version wilted in its worst performance of last season. UCLA’s first matchup with USC will be the final game of the first round of Pac-12 play and precedes the week it plays at Arizona and against Oregon in Pauley Pavilion, its toughest stretch of conference play.

UCLA can take some solace in its young team being able to ease into conference play by hosting the Washington schools to open Pac-12 play and visiting Cal and Stanford the next week. Last season, by comparison, UCLA opened with a last-second loss at eventual conference co-champion Oregon and its second road trip was the Colorado-Utah combination that only two programs have emerged from unscathed in Pac-12 history.

2017-18 UCLA Men’s Basketball Schedule

Nov. 10       vs. Georgia Tech (Shanghai, China)

Nov. 15       vs. Central Arkansas

Nov. 17       vs. South Carolina State Continue reading “UCLA basketball schedule revealed, sets up drama with USC” »

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NBA draft: TJ Leaf, Ike Anigbogu land on opposite ends of spectrum

UCLA freshman TJ Leaf was selected 18th overall in Thursday’s NBA draft, but classmate Ike Anigbogu slipped to the 47th pick. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

It turns out TJ Leaf’s decision to declare for the NBA draft did indeed deserve less skepticism than that of UCLA classmate Ike Anigbogu – just not for the reasons we thought.

Both UCLA freshmen were selected by the Indiana Pacers in Thursday’s NBA draft. Leaf was the 18th overall pick and Anigbogu, a projected first-rounder, slipped to the 17th pick of the second round, 47th overall.

Concern about Anigbogu’s surgically repaired knee was reportedly the cause for the 6-foot-10, 252-pound center’s slide nearly an entire round later than his projections. There was little mention of his knee while Anigbogu was weighing his options after the season, which was understandable considering his meniscus surgery on Oct. 25 was minor enough for him to return to game action Nov. 25.

A sprained foot shelved Anigbogu for the only other game he missed the remainder of the season, a March 17 first-round NCAA tournament contest. In other words, he played four months of college basketball without knee issues only for concern to crop up shortly before the NBA draft. Continue reading “NBA draft: TJ Leaf, Ike Anigbogu land on opposite ends of spectrum” »

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Lonzo Ball UCLA’s highest NBA draft pick since 1979


It no longer has to be spoken into existence. Lonzo Ball has been drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Anticipation that has been building since Ball’s banner season at UCLA – and spiked when NBA draft lottery netted the Lakers the No. 2 pick – finally delivered.

After the Philadelphia 76ers selected Washington’s Markelle Fultz with the No. 1 pick, the Lakers landed their point guard of the future.

“It’s a dream come true,” Ball told ESPN. “It’s crazy. I couldn’t ask for anything more and to be able to learn from (Magic Johnson) every day is truly a blessing.”

Ball, UCLA’s highest selection in the NBA draft since David Greenwood was the No. 2 pick in 1979, changed out of his black dress shoes into purple and gold Big Baller Brand shoes a few minutes before he was selected. Continue reading “Lonzo Ball UCLA’s highest NBA draft pick since 1979” »

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