Ball: “I think I can lead a team better than him.”
Lonzo Ball knows how dynamic of a scorer Markelle Fultz is. Regardless, he feels he’s a better basketball player than the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
“Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him,” said Ball, during an interview with ESPN 710 Los Angeles. “I think I can lead a team better than him. Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”
Fultz and Ball are projected to go Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in many mock drafts.
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists, six rebounds, and 1.8 steals in his rookie season, leading the UCLA Bruins to a 31-5 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. His Bruins lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16.
Fultz’s Washington Huskies did not make the tournament after a disappointing 9-22 season, but the 6’4 guard wowed crowds every night. He averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game, garnering national attention toward an otherwise irrelevant Washington program.
Both Ball and Fultz shot the three with remarkable accuracy last season, but the UCLA guard feels his leadership skills set him apart.
Lonzo Ball should feel this way
LaVar Ball feels his son is better than two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry. Lonzo is supposed to think a mere college basketball player has his number?
Not one bit.
Ball and Fultz went head-to-head just once this season (UCLA and Washington played twice, but Fultz sat out one of those games). In that game, the two put on a show.
Ball scored 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 4 of 7 on threes, and picked up six rebounds, five assists, four steals, and a block. Fultz lit it up as well, torching UCLA for 25 points (on 9-of-19 shooting and 5 of 10 on threes), six rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Fultz, though, turned the ball over five times, and his Huskies suffered a brutal 41-point beatdown.
Both guys are incredible scorers and have bright NBA futures ahead of them. The two can settle the debate when they take the court as pros for the first time.
One thing’s certain: We’ll be watching.