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Lakers great Magic Johnson picks successor in Lonzo Ball

He is the highest pick from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins since Russell Westbrook was picked fourth overall in 2008.

Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson, who is new president of basketball operations for the Lakers, said last month that he would not let such controversies dissuade the team from picking Lonzo Ball and held true to his world in Thursday's draft. However, Walton also said that he knows what that bullseye feels like since his father, NBA Hall of Fame star Bill Walton, put a bullseye on his own back and things turned out well. He's always been there for him, supported him, obviously loves him. "And that's a quality and a trait that not many people have. The great ones all have it, and we hope that by the way he plays, everyone else on our team becomes better".

LaVar Ball, for one, was certain of the team's ascendance under his son.

Lonzo Ball was taken behind Markelle Fultz, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers. He said that he knew his son would be drafted to the Lakers almost 20 years ago, and that he's going to bring the L.A. boys back to the Playoffs in his first year on the team.




"I'm a very optimistic person, but I don't look that far into the future", Walton said during a season ticket holder event at L.A.'s practice facility, via ESPN.com.

"It was a pleasure to play for you guys", Kuzma said in a tweet declaring his decision. "The right people are in charge".

Lonzo Ball answers questions during an interview after being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers made a sneaky good trade late in the draft, moving down two spots from the No. 28 and acquiring a second round pick in the process. Walton was asked about that statement and just laughed it off.

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