詹姆斯羽翼之下的朗佐鲍尔 ——为你还原一个镁光灯背后,真实的朗佐鲍尔

发布:STOKES 时间:2019-01-06 19:58 阅读:280 点击收藏

作者:Bill Oram
译者:日日
校对:Lincoln&邦邦

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巴克莱中心的客队更衣室人满为患,朗佐・鲍尔自顾径直地从人群旁边走了过去,一边走一边还说“让一下,让一下”,记者们给这位二年级后卫让出条路,可他们的注意力仍都聚集于詹姆斯。而詹姆斯在更衣室中央做着拉伸,在泡沫轴上放松着肌肉,伴随着的是记者们咔咔的拍照声。

在詹姆斯来到湖人之后,这种反差不仅体现在场上,场下也是这样。从他踏进更衣室的那一刻起就有无数摄像机跟随,甚至对于詹姆斯离开更衣室后留下的蜡烛,记者们都在那旁边围了一层又一层,伸着脖子想看看詹姆斯用的是什么牌子的。

而其他的湖人球员只能默默离开,这种反差无比强烈,就在一年前,鲍尔才是镁光灯下的主角,那时候的他顶着榜眼光环,被魔术师视为球队未来的门面,当然还有个大嘴巴的爹。

可现在,詹姆斯旁边的记者多得能把他挤到另外的房间去,前一晚上在斯台普斯就这样了。仍然记得当鲍尔经历膝伤手术后,首次在训练营参加半场攻防训练时也没有得到太多关注,他们关注的是詹姆斯的日常媒体采访。

二年级的鲍尔发现自己活在以詹姆斯为中心的宇宙边缘,某个时间点上这种感觉尤其强烈。关于这点鲍尔是这么理解的,他给记者说:“这给我和其他年轻球员转移了很多压力,当球队拥有勒布朗,拥有这个世界上最好的篮球运动员,所有的注意力都在他身上,赢球被吹输球背锅都是詹姆斯的,他整个职业生涯都在面对着记者带来的压力,已经习以为常了,但对我自己来说,把聚光灯从我身上移开一些,对我来说是好事。”

过去五年湖人选的年轻球员都没有鲍尔这样受人关注,他是个很矛盾的球员,一半球星一半菜鸡的成分在他身上体现的淋漓尽致;他作为球爹的儿子而备受关注,但现在他也当父亲了;纵观全场的长传天赋伴随着各种上空篮不进的尴尬,让人又好气又好笑。

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鲍尔其实一直处于舆论的中心,虽然湖人比六年前看起来更加光明,但鲍尔却不是最闪亮的那颗未来之星,甚至都不能算球队中最好的新秀。要知道库兹马是新秀一阵,鲍尔却因伤仅出战了50场,掉到了新秀二阵,在NBA的舞台上鲍尔的缺点暴露的一览无余,新秀赛季场均10.2分,7.2次助攻和6.9个篮板,命中率却只有36%。
这赛季勒布朗的存在为鲍尔打了很好的掩护,使得他有猥琐发育的机会,去年詹姆斯没来的时候这种机会对他来说只能是奢望。

鲍尔接受采访时说,“跟他打球就是这样,如果你在球场上向其他球员那样犯了错,焦点通常却会聚集指向他,这就是我们队最好的球员,这就是联盟中最好的球员。”
与上赛季不同的,朗佐一直是家族里最耀眼的那个,他父亲拉瓦尔疲于在南加州和欧洲之间奔波。

“他现在心思都在我弟那里,之前都是他把一切能做的、一切能教我的都做了,现在该到我自己开辟自己的人生道路的时候了”,朗佐说道。

周日输给灰熊的那场比赛是迄今鲍尔职业生涯的完美缩影,他那场投丢了7记三分球,生涯最低,并且在比赛的最后一段时间因为连续投失被按在了板凳上。可即便这样,他还是有三个抢断和两记盖帽,并且在上场的27分钟内拿下了+1的正负值。

沃顿在接受采访时表示,“朗佐总会有手感不好的时候,但只要他在场上就能在其他方面帮助球队,以他自己独特的方式帮助其他人变得更好。”

那么问题来了,鲍尔究竟是无法用传统数据来衡量的优秀球员,还是一个仍未被球队信任的21岁潜力新秀?

不管你怎么看,数据不会说谎,在这个赛季的33场比赛样本下,他场均9分5.2个篮板和4.8次助攻外加1.5次抢断。

这个数据要是把得分去掉,那么联盟中只有六位球员能得到这样的数据,另外五位都是全明星,分别是:哈登、奥拉迪波、威少、约基奇和追梦。
然而除了格林,另外几位都是砍分高手,同时联盟中能拿下4.8次助攻同时得分少于10分的组织后卫只有步行者的科里森、鹈鹕的佩顿以及作为鲍尔替补的隆多。

快醒醒,佩顿才是那个适合跟鲍尔比较的球员,他职业生涯的数据是11+6+4外加1.3个抢断,三分球命中率为30%。一直以来鲍尔都在和隆多这位得分欲望随泰坦尼克沉入海底的传统后卫相比,然而部分湖人管理层越发觉得卢比奥才是更合适的比较模板。

他到底是什么水平的球员?是球星还是角色球员?

他的经纪人说过他立志要成为全明星。输给篮网的比赛中鲍尔拿下23分,职业生涯第三次过20分,三天之前他刚砍下16+10+10的三双并带领球队赢了黄蜂,生涯第三次,第一次是2017年9月19号。

他的训练师这么说,“篮球嘛,状态总会有起伏,我觉得他不会有太多表现不好的时候,只要他发挥出自己的特点,抢下篮板推节奏找队友,这就对了。”

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鲍尔还有着这赛季湖人外围最具活力的防守,经常全场领防对面后卫,在后场就造成对手失误,他已经让穆雷和康利等一众后卫吃瘪过了。

全场紧逼能让你自己兴奋起来,我觉得这特别能够改变比赛节奏。鲍尔必须找到一种既能影响比赛又可以学习其他打球方式的比赛风格,在詹姆斯身边必须要更多打无球,他需要提高这方面的水平,他之前无球的时候不需要跑动、空切,他之前都是运球投篮找节奏,但现在必须要练好接球投篮的能力。

鲍尔一直都被拿在放大镜下被关注,这种关注源于他爹的大肆宣扬,源于魔术师一直以来的肯定,也源于鲍尔自身的起起伏伏。

“我觉得这都是媒体的炒作,就因为他是榜眼,大家对他期望都很高,我觉得他做的已经很好了,”库兹马说道。

事实很残酷的,当鲍尔还在湖人苦苦找回投篮包的时候,顺位在他之后的球员,像塔图姆、福克斯已经开始兑现天赋了,而湖人阵中和他一级的库兹马和哈特,成长也已超出预期。

鲍尔对此倒是很大度,“我为他们感到高兴,佩林卡和魔术师在低位淘宝的能力很棒,我现在要做的就是更进一步,兑现期望。”

虽然去年出现的一些担忧已经让他有点掉队了,但鲍尔的队友仍然对他赞不绝口,詹姆斯称赞鲍尔是个明星级别的球员,可能他自己都不知道自己有多优秀,而哈特则说鲍尔是个大场面先生,说:“他并不关心媒体怎么说,他总是专注于提高自己。”

去年拉瓦尔的所作所为赚足了眼球,也招致了不少非议,他利用自己大儿子的名气搞了一个BBB品牌,而当时鲍尔还在UCLA打球。

从那时候,鲍尔一家的故事就变得十分戏剧性,来源于生活又高于生活。

鲍尔的妈妈在2017年春天也就是鲍尔选秀前中风了,鲍尔一家在Facebook上大火,朗佐的女朋友后来怀孕,弟弟在中国由于盗窃被捕,随后在立陶宛打了职业篮球。而球爹声称沃顿失去了对更衣室的掌控,鲍尔在7月份也当爹了,后来鲍尔跟他女朋友分了手也被街边小报大肆播报,鲍尔一家的故事被编成了电视节目。

鲍尔试着把篮球和个人生活分开,篮球对于他来说就是一片安静的天堂,远离尘世的喧嚣,篮球之外,这两年发生了太多的故事,鲍尔努力将精力更多放在球场上。

我知道我有自己的电视节目,但这对我来说意义不是很大,我也不经常出现在节目上,我所关心的是把生活的琐事理顺,然后专注于球场。

勒布朗的到来正好给鲍尔提供了这片缓冲地,远离镁光灯对这位年轻后卫来说未尝不是件好事。

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上赛季被球爹的大嘴巴吸引的焦点不复存在,取而代之的是詹姆斯这位4届MVP的各种新闻。

在选秀之前,鲍尔已经适应了球爹的各种语不惊人死不休,要是球爹一直沉默他反而不太习惯。鲍尔和他父亲每周都会见一次面,但在公开场合拉瓦尔已经好几个月没消息了,他经常来看湖人的比赛,周六那天打灰熊的时候就来了,其他时候他显得很低调。

虽然公众可能更想让球爹少说话,但鲍尔丝毫不关心这个。

库兹马则觉得球爹这样还是有点用的,因为你不太能知道鲍尔在更衣室中的发言,没有了拉瓦尔的喋喋不休,各种针对鲍尔的行为也显得没啥意思了,这种情况就像死火山一样,这样可以使鲍尔集中精力放在篮球上,是好事也不一定是好事。

鲍尔打得好的几场高光时刻包括对奥兰多那场一个回合换防了魔术四位球员,抑或是周日对灰熊比赛中对后卫的全场紧逼并最终抢断成功。

也得看到,他现在的命中率仍然不足40%,三分球命中率也只有30.9%,前面33场比赛累计正负值为-19。

魔术师告诫鲍尔菜鸟赛季后的这个夏天对他来说无比重要,然而休赛期鲍尔传来的消息却令人充满了失望。在因伤病只打了50场比赛之后,休赛季鲍尔又进行了膝盖手术,几乎整个夏天他都远离了球场,尽管回归训练营后能看到他上肢肉眼可见的变壮了,而这也是管理层在将鲍尔培养为一名顶级防守者的必经之路。

我这个夏天做不了我本来打算做的事,这一年除了投射得分能力之外其他我都感觉还可以,所以这个夏天我本来打算练好篮子的,这场伤病让我又重新回到原点了。

虽然在有些方面的进步还是很缓慢,但鲍尔的成长还是看得见的,在更衣室他更加自然了,同时他也逐渐适应了在勒布朗身边打球。

“我们慢慢能摸清他的脾气,我觉这很重要,当你初来乍到,作为队里的年轻人性情的释放需要一个过程,他逐渐变得开朗变得更容易和队友交流”。哈特说道。

鲍尔菜鸟赛季无论去哪里,都会有训练师莫罗和一位私人保镖陪伴,之前从未听说过有19岁的菜鸟就要雇保镖的事发生。

虽然现在莫罗还是会跟随他去每一个客场,鲍尔在需要的时候更加优先跟着球队的安保人员,他现在更加能融入球队了,出去吃饭都是和队友一起,以前都是直接叫外卖到自己房间的。

在还算是大男孩的年纪,你很难想象鲍尔已经当爹了,这种身份也加速了一个人的成长,鲍尔亲承只有在湖人放假的时候才有时间和小女儿Zooey一起玩一玩,大部分时间里,陪伴小女儿的是各种玩具。

“我现在的动力就是她,不是为我自己,我为了自己的家庭前进,但我也在想我的行为将会如何影响到她,我要变得优秀,要足够优秀到给我女儿她想要的那种生活。”鲍尔说。

当所有人的目光聚焦于勒布朗时,鲍尔默默走在他身旁并经过,砥砺前行。

原文:

Lonzo Ball worked his way along the edge of the crowd that had formed inside the visitors’ locker room at Barclays Center.

“S’cuse me, s’cuse me,” he said. Even as the amorphous mass that had formed around LeBron James adjusted to clear a path for the second-year point guard, the focus remained on James. The Lakers superstar stretched out in the center of the room, working his muscles over a foam roller as cameras filmed each undulation of the ripples in his torso.

Similar scenes have played out in arenas throughout the country since James joined the Lakers. Cameras are set up to capture the moment he walks through the locker room. Reporters in search of deeper meaning crane their necks to read the labels of candles James has left burning in his locker.

Like the other non-LeBron Lakers, Ball moves easily and silently around the spectacle. It’s in stark contrast to a year ago, when the circus was, in fact, for him. He was the No. 2 pick who Magic Johnson declared the franchise’s new face, and whose father became its unofficial mouth.

Now, Ball lives in a world where the pregame crowd around James’ locker can swell so big that it forces him into another room, as it did one night earlier this season at Staples Center. When Ball was playing a half-court scrimmage for the first time in training camp after offseason knee surgery, most members of the media had their backs turned, focusing instead on James and his daily press scrum.

In Year 2, Ball has found himself on the periphery of James’ universe. At times, quite literally.

“I would say it takes pressure off of me and the rest of the young guys,” Ball told The Athletic during the Lakers’ recent four-game road trip. “Obviously you have LeBron, the best player in the world, all the attention’s on him. A lot of the wins and losses are targeted towards him. I know he’s dealt with that his whole career so he’s fine with it. But myself, it’s taken the spotlight off a little bit, just making things a little easier for me.”

Of the young players the Lakers have drafted and spent time developing over the past half-decade, none has been as polarizing as Ball. He is a paradox. Simultaneously a star and a bust. Famous for being someone else’s son but now a father himself. Moments of genius are tempered by missed layups and wayward passes.

Ball has always been in the spotlight, and while that beam shines more brightly on the Lakers now than it has in half a dozen years, their point guard is not its primary focus.

This comes after an inaugural campaign when Ball was not even the best rookie on his own team. While Kyle Kuzma earned All-Rookie first-team honors, Ball was limited to 50 games and scraped together enough votes to land on the second team. In that environment, every miscue Ball made was exposed. He averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds but shot just 36 percent from the field.

“Every team I played for, I pretty much been the dude on it,” Ball said. “Picked second, I was supposed to come in and impact the franchise right from the jump.”

This season, LeBron’s presence has created a shield for Ball, who is now being afforded the opportunity to develop naturally, a luxury that eluded him last year.

“That’s just how it is playing with him,” Ball said of James. “Obviously if you do dumb stuff, it’s going to show up like any other player, but most of it’s always towards him, that’s just how it is. Best player in the league, best player on our team.”

There is also the unavoidable fact that, unlike last season, Ball has been the most visible member of his own family. His father LaVar has split his time this fall between Southern California and Europe.

“He’s real focused on my little brother (LaMelo) right now,” Ball said. “He pretty much did everything he could with me as far as stuff he could teach me in life and how far he could take me. Now it’s up to me to go wherever I want to go with it.”

Sunday’s 107-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies was in some ways the perfect distillation of Ball’s young career. He shot and missed seven times from 3-point range, setting a new career-low for attempts from the perimeter without a make, and he was pulled from a close game in the final minutes after missing twice. Yet, he still tallied three steals and two blocks and the Lakers were plus-one in his 27 minutes on the floor.

“Zo’s had off shooting nights,” coach Luke Walton said, “but he does so many other things on the court that we find a way to win or somebody else steps up and then he’ll make a big play down the stretch.”

Here’s the question: Is Ball simply a unique player who cannot be judged by traditional standards? Or are the Lakers moving the goal posts for an inconsistent 21-year-old who has yet to prove he can be trusted?

Regardless of how you feel about Lonzo Ball, there is likely a stat to back it up. Through 33 games this season, he is averaging nine points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Take the scoring out of the equation, and Ball is one of only six players in the NBA to average as many rebounds, assists and steals. The other five are All-Stars: James Harden, Victor Oladipo, Russell Westbrook, Nikola Jokic and Draymond Green.

With the exception of Green, however, those players all score. The only other point guards to average at least 4.8 assists while scoring under 10 points per game are Indiana’s Darren Collison, New Orleans’ Elfrid Payton and Ball’s Lakers backup, veteran Rajon Rondo.

Payton is an especially sobering comparison for Ball, with career averages of 11.1 points, 6.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals while shooting 30 percent from 3. Ball has often been compared to Rondo, a reluctant and inconsistent shooter throughout his career, while some within the Lakers organization have wondered aloud if Ricky Rubio may be a better comparison.
So which is it? Is he a star? Or a role player?

“He’s made a commitment to being a star in his role,” said Ball’s agent, Harrison Gaines.

The night the Lakers lost in Brooklyn, Ball finished with 23 points, eclipsing the 20-point mark for just the third time in his career. Three nights earlier, he notched 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win in Charlotte. It was his third career triple-double but his first since Nov. 19, 2017.

“That’s basketball,” said Darren Moore, Ball’s manager and trainer. “You’re going to have good ones, you’re going to have bad ones. … In my opinion, I don’t really think that he can have a bad night if he just continues to rebound, push the tempo, set the table for everybody else.”

Ball has also emerged as one of the Lakers’ most dynamic defenders this season, picking up opposing point guards full-court and often forcing turnovers in the backcourt. He has frustrated point guards from Jamal Murray to Mike Conley.

“When you pick a guy up full-court, it kind of turns your motor on,” Moore said, “and I think that it changes the tempo for your game specifically.”

Ball has had to find ways to impact the game while learning to play a new way. He has spent far more time off the ball than at any other level, a natural function of playing alongside James.

“I’ve never really had to move without the ball my whole life as far as setting screens and cutting like that,” Ball said, “so trying to get better at that, trying to get better at catch-and-shoot. Growing up, a lot of my shots came off of me dribbling and shooting it. Trying to get the catch-and-shoot down and go from there.”

Ball has been scrutinized far more closely than a typical young player, due to pressure brought on by his family hype machine, Johnson’s early faith and Ball’s own ups and downs.

“I think it’s all just media narratives,” Kuzma said. “How they think he should play because he’s the second pick and all the fans, but from an in-locker-room, NBA-mindset approach for the game, I think he’s done well.”

Matters are complicated by the fact that Ball is viewed as still trying to find his footing with the Lakers, while the players drafted behind him, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox, have blossomed into bona fide stars. The Lakers’ other 2017 picks, Kuzma and Josh Hart, have exceeded expectations relative to their own draft positions.

“I’m happy for them,” Ball said. “I’m happy we drafted them. Rob (Pelinka) and Magic did a great job of finding pretty much the two biggest steals of the draft in my opinion. Now it’s just my time to step up and do what I’m supposed to do.”

While the distractions that accompanied Ball last year might have alienated him from some people, he has remained a favorite of his teammates. James has relentlessly praised Ball as a star who does not yet realize how great he can be, while Hart called Ball a “big-time player.”

“He’s not worried about what the media’s saying or what the outside world keeps focusing on,” Hart told The Athletic.

The last two years have been a whirlwind of headlines and controversies, starting with LaVar’s decision to capitalize on Lonzo’s cachet and launch Big Baller Brand while his eldest son was at UCLA.

In the time since, the Ball family’s story has been dominated by drama, both manufactured and very, very real.

Lonzo’s mom, Tina, suffered a stroke during the spring of 2017, before Lonzo became the No. 2 pick by the Lakers; “Ball in the Family” premiered on Facebook; Lonzo’s then-girlfriend Denise Garcia became pregnant; brother LiAngelo was arrested in China along with two UCLA teammates for shoplifting; LiAngelo and LaMelo turned pro in Lithuania; LaVar proclaimed Walton had lost the Lakers’ locker room; Lonzo became a father at 20 when his daughter Zooey was born in July; Lonzo and Denise became tabloid fodder when they reportedly broke up, a story that was later confirmed on the family’s reality TV show.

Lonzo’s transition to the NBA was neither low profile nor especially easy to navigate.

“I try to separate my personal life and basketball,” Ball said. “Basketball is a safe haven pretty much to get my mind off stuff. Outside of basketball, yeah, a lot of stuff has happened the last two years, but I just try to stay focused on the court.

“I know I got a reality TV show, but at this point it’s just not a big point to me because I’m not on the show that much anyway. I just try to focus on this year and make sure everything goes right.”

And that is where LeBron James provides an important buffer for his point guard.

The four-time Most Valuable Player has filled the vacuum that allowed for LaVar to have a voice last season.

Since before he was drafted, Ball said he was used to his dad making brash statements. What he’s not used to is LaVar remaining silent. He said he and his father touch base about once a week, but LaVar has not been heard from publicly in months. He has attended a handful of Lakers games, including Sunday against Memphis, but otherwise keeps a low profile.
“I guess the public likes it more when he’s quiet,” Lonzo said of his dad. “For me, I don’t know. I really don’t care.”

Added Kuzma: “It probably helps a little bit because you don’t really hear nothing too much outside of what Zo says in the locker room.”

Without the spectacle of LaVar, the threat of him spouting off is presently idle, like a dormant volcano. For Lonzo, that shifts the focus back to basketball. That is both a good and bad thing.

It’s great in moments like a November game in Orlando, when video of him defending four Magic players on a single possession went viral, or on Sunday when he defended Grizzlies guard Shelvin Mack the entire length of the floor and ultimately blocked his shot.

However, Ball is still shooting under 40 percent from the field and just 30.9 percent on 3-pointers. He has posted a negative plus/minus in 19 of the Lakers’ first 33 games.

After Johnson told Ball that he was entering “the biggest summer of his life”following his rookie year, Ball’s offseason was full of disappointment. After a platelet-rich plasma shot failed to heal the balky left knee that limited him to 50 games last season, Ball had arthroscopic surgery, keeping him off the court for almost the entire summer. Despite the setback, he arrived in training camp noticeably stronger in the upper body, something the Lakers have pointed to when discussing Ball’s evolution as a defender.

“I was kind of disappointed this summer that I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do, just because of the year I had I felt like I did everything pretty much well except shoot and score,” Ball said. “So that’s something I wanted to focus on this summer. But obviously I got hurt and kind of set everything back. But I like the way things are going.”

While progress has come slowly in some areas, Ball seems to have grown in others. Teammates describe him as more comfortable in the locker room, and he seems to have become more comfortable playing alongside James.

“We’re seeing a little bit more of his personality,” Hart said of Ball. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Whenever you’re new to a team and you’re young it takes a little bit for that personality to show, but he’s definitely showing his personality more, being outgoing, those type of things.”

In Ball’s rookie season, he was accompanied on every road trip by Moore and a personal security guard – an unheard of contingent for a 19-year-old rookie.

While Moore still follows the Lakers on the road, Ball now relies primarily on team security when he needs it. He is more comfortable leaving the team hotel on his own, going out to dinner with teammates instead of always ordering in to his room.
It is hard not to consider that Ball is being treated less like a kid because he now has a child. Fatherhood precipitates adulthood, even though Ball acknowledges he is only able to see Zooey when the Lakers have days off at home and that his daughter spends the bulk of her time with Denise.

“I do stuff for her now,” Ball said. “I don’t do it for me. Obviously, I do stuff for my family, but I always think how my actions are going to affect her. I want to do good, play good obviously for myself, but to make sure I get another contract so she can keep living the life I want her to live.”

That is just one of the ways that, while all eyes are on LeBron, Lonzo Ball is looking ahead.

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不用急,慢慢来,有很多事情自然就会水到渠成