In 2019 the Los Angeles Lakers traded Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter, two first-round draft picks, a first-round pick swap and cash to the New Orleans Pelicans for Anthony Davis.
The deal had massive ramifications for all parties involved.
The Lakers added a second-star next to LeBron James, paving the way for what would turn into a magical championship run.
Ball, meanwhile, would get a fresh start with the Pelicans that would eventually help him land with a primed-for-success Chicago Bulls group over the summer.
This past week Ball did an interview with NBC Sports Chicago where he opened up about how he truly felt when LA sent him to New Orleans as part of the deal that made Davis a Laker.
“It was different for me,” he said. “I know it’s part of the business, but it was the first time I felt like somebody didn’t really want me in a way, I guess. But it was Anthony Davis, so there was no shame in that. He’s one of the best players to ever play.”
In the end, Ball recognizes that the move was a win-win for everyone.
“So for myself, BI (Brandon Ingram), and Josh Hart as well, we were happy to get to a new situation and have a start-over moment,” he continued. “I think it helped my career personally. In the long run, it made me a better person and a better player.”
And in the end, it got Ball to Chicago – where he truly feels like he belongs.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/qPAxSBkTfm
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 14, 2021
“I think everything happens for a reason,” Ball concluded. “I’m where I’m supposed to be now. It feels great.”
Ball has been remarkably open over the years. He readily has admitted what the lowest point of his career was and had no trouble putting into words how he felt about constantly being the topic trade chatter last year. In that vein, his honesty is unsurprising.
Ball is in the midst of a great run with the Bulls this year. Hopefully he continues to experience success going forward.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.