Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant pretty much have basketball figured out.
But it wasn’t always that way for the reigning NBA champs, and they gave Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball some encouraging words amid his early-career struggles this season.
“He’s a rookie,” Curry said of Ball Tuesday, via ESPN.com. “He’s going through ups and downs like every rookie has. Whether you’re highly touted or not, it’s all a learning experience and you’re trying to find your way and be comfortable.
“I’ve always said he’s a great talent, I think he loves to play basketball, so he’ll be able to fight through all that and have a great career. I hope you didn’t judge me off my first 20 games in the league.”
Curry didn’t really struggle his rookie season, at least not for long. Selected No. 7 overall in the 2009 draft out of Davidson, he averaged 17.5 points and 5.9 assists per game, while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range. Ball, however, has averaged 8.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists so far this season, shooting 31 percent from the field, 24.5 percent from 3-point range.
Durant chalked Ball’s rough start up to rookie errors and age.
“Lonzo is just playing like a rookie, as far as learning the game, finding the ins and outs of the game,” Durant said. “It’s slowing down for him. Picking and choosing his spots. He’s still figuring it out.