Lakers Display New Brotherhood That Is Emerging

    John Wall and the Wizards are looking pretty stupid right now. Not only did they talk hella junk about what type of pain they were going to inflict on Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball and failed to back it up,  but the young Lakers squad made the veteran Wizards look like posers after LAs 102-99 overtime win on Wednesday night. 

    Some critics felt that Lakers baby baller Brandon Ingram should have kept his mouth shut instead of publicly tossing in his two cents on the matter and letting the basketball world know that LA was going to back its targeted teammate to the end against the loose-lipped Wizards.  

    It didnt matter. The young Ingram was a man out there dropping 19 points on 50% shooting. Larry Nance Jr. shot 80% from the field and added the support that Lonzo needed as he struggled to hit shots. 

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    Lakers beat the Wizards 102-99 in OT. Brandon Ingram 19 Pts, 10 Rebs. #LakeShow

    Marcin Gortat said it was going to be 48 minutes of hell for Lonzo. Wall snickered and publicly threw his own jabs, making it seem like he was really going to put it on the kid. But in the end, Wall shot 35% from the field and didnt deliver the initiation-whipping that most of the basketball world was expecting. 

    Walls performance was the most disappointing aspect of the night. Its like Washington talked all of that mess and didnt even look inspired. Like they honestly felt that the game would be a cake walk. 

    In the same way that the media hype and his fathers loud mouth may be considered a detriment to Lonzos NBA well being, players who feed into LaVar’s baiting tactics can fall victim to becoming distracted by the guy on the sideline and letting it affect the manner in which they attack the shrewd, silky and unflappable rookie point guard from Chino Hills. 

    Wall’s supposed to be an elite NBA guard who understands the entertainment value of performing well against Lonzo on a night when the basketball nation is watching. Instead, he kind of laid an egg and taught Lonzo nothing about shining under the big time lights. 

    It was almost a waste of an initiation for Ball. Wall played miles short of an All-Star, but maybe this funny stat offered by ESPN gives us some insight into where Washington went wrong and how Lonzo was able to lead LA to a 10-point fourth quarter comeback and an eventual OT win. 

    In 24 minutes guarding Ball, Wall gave up no points and no assists to the Lakers rookie who finished with 10 dimes in the game.  Maybe Wall was too obsessed with showing Lonzo no mercy and backing up his unnecessary chatter that he abandoned the flow of the game and took himself out of the money man matrix. 

    Some forced shots. Some bad shots. Some rushed shots. Wall had no rhythm and neither did Gortat. He had a modest 11 points playing against one of the more vulnerable frontcourts in the league.  

    While Lonzo is accused of riding the hype train, maybe Wall was the one caught up in the hype on Wednesday night. In a game where Walls experience as a four-time All-star guard in a backcourt-rich NBA was supposed to be on full display, and Lonzo was supposed to be battling by himself, Balls crew seemed harder, realer and more ride-or-die than Walls outfit.  

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.