Magic Johnson’s Eye-Popping Claim: Lonzo Ball Has Best Basketball IQ Among NBA Point Guards
New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball is having the best year of his career, drastically improving his ability to shoot the ball from 3-point range while continuing to excel as a facilitator and defender.
A highly-touted prospect from Chino Hills to UCLA to Draft Day, Ball is now starting to earn not just praise and attention but the respect of all-time greats.
On Tuesday, Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson — a lead executive for the Los Angeles Lakers when that they drafted Ball in 2018 — joined ESPN’s First Take to discuss just how special Ball is. Speaking to co-host Stephen A. Smith, Magic stunned the audience when he revealed that he believes Ball’s basketball IQ is higher than any other point guard’s in the NBA:
“There’s no point guard in this league whose basketball IQ is higher than Lonzo Ball.”
In a league that has Chris Paul, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry and Trae Young, this is a comment sure to raise plenty of eyebrows.
Still, Ball — with his quick decision-making, elite court vision and precise passes — has long been considered to be one of the smarter point guards in the league, with the skillset of a true floor general. After a less-than-stellar start to his career, he’s continued to develop and is currently putting forth arguably his best season to date.
The former second overall pick is averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game this season, while shooting .385 from beyond the arc (on 7.8 3-point attempts per game).