HART QUESTIONABLEWalton said Josh Hart was held out of practice Tuesday because his hamstring remained tight, adding that he considers the versatile shooting guard’s status for Wednesday’s game “questionable.” He tweaked the hamstring during practice Monday.“He wanted to practice today but it was tight still,” Walton said. “I told him to sit out and watch and make sure he stays healthy. He’s very important to what we do, so we want to start the season as healthy as we can be.”🎥 Luke Walton gives updates on Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart’s statuses for Wednesday pic.twitter.com/3jYS5P2jET— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 9, 2018 James said neither the particulars nor the opponent will matter as much for Ball as the experience of playing the game.“He knows how to play basketball; it’s just basketball,” James said. “And I think it’s going to be exciting for him just to get back on the floor, that’s what’s most important.”And, yes, he’s ready, James said.“When he’s been on the floor (in practice) it doesn’t seem like he’s had anything done with his knee in the offseason,” said James, who has had his eye on Ball for a while.Remember when James, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, sent NBA Twitter ablaze by showing up to watch the Lakers’ summer league game on July 13, 2017? He saw Ball drop 36 points, dish 11 assists and grab eight rebounds in a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.At that moment in time, Magic Johnson had identified Ball, the team’s No. 2 overall draft pick, as “the new face of the Lakers, the guy who I think will lead us back to where we want to get to.”Here in Vegas, where LeBron has come by to watch Lakers & Sixers, fan yells, “LeBron, come to the Lakers!” Fans trying to get his attention.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 13, 2017Obviously, that distinction now belongs to James. But the King seems plenty confident that the 20-year-old Chino Hills product, despite having only practiced with him, is ready to run.Related Articles 🎥 @KingJames discusses Lonzo Ball facing similar pressures as he did early in his career, including being drafted by their hometown teams. pic.twitter.com/MY6mDiD5bZ— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 9, 2018 🎥 @ZO2_ talks about playing in Wednesday’s game, and getting back out on the floor for game action pic.twitter.com/5QqV8ykAWX— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 9, 2018 How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHe’s ready.“Feels good,” Ball said. “I’ll be playing tomorrow.”He said he didn’t know how many minutes to expect, and he didn’t seem to care.“Just getting back on the court,” Ball said. “Whatever I can do to help.”No nerves, he said, “just happy to be playing.” EL SEGUNDO — First LeBron James and then Lonzo Ball stepped before the gaggle of reporters after Tuesday’s practice to share the good news: Ball gets to play in a basketball game Wednesday. And he gets to play with James.Wednesday’s preseason game against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas will be Ball’s first time on the court with James, and Ball’s first game action, period, since March 28, when he left a contest against the Dallas Mavericks with what was described as a knee contusion.Ball, who also missed 17 games in January and February last season with a sprained left MCL, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee this summer to repair a torn meniscus. The Lakers have eased him back into action since.Despite being cleared to participate in workouts when training camp opened, Ball has yet to appear in a preseason game. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions “I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun and winning a lot of games,” said Ball, who said he now weighs between 205 and 210 pounds, more than the 190 he was carrying a year ago. “We’ve got the best player in the world, so I’m gonna do what I can to help him out. We’ll be playing fast, so I’ll be getting the ball to him a lot and he can do the same. It’s going to be a very interesting dynamic.”The up-and-down pace of Wednesday’s game against Golden State will be a test for Ball, who acknowledged he’s not in the kind of shape that happens only by playing games.Lakers coach Luke Walton will give Ball a chance to work on that, saying he anticipates playing him anywhere between “10 and 30 minutes.” He also confirmed that he doesn’t plan to start the second-year guard with the slightly tweaked jumper in his first game back, but that Ball will play him some with the starters too.“For now (it’s) just getting him out there, playing with the guys in a game setting, getting him comfortable with some of the new teammates he has,” said Walton of Ball, who finished his rookie season with averages of 10.2 points (on 36 percent shooting from the field, and 30 percent shooting from behind the 3-point arc) as well as 6.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists.
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