Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss compared rookie No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball to two of the team’s greatest superstars – magic johnson and Kobe Bryant. In an interview with AM 570 LA Radio, Buss said Ball has the same excitement surrounding him, just like when Bryant joined the Lakers. Buss said Ball also brings the same qualities to the team as Johnson. Buss stressed that there’s something special about Lonzo because he just wants to play basketball, saying he has charisma and his teammates at UCLA loved playing with him. “I think he's going to bring an element that's very similar to Magic Johnson,” she added.

Buss’ statement will put even more pressure on Ball to lead the Lakers to success. Earlier, his father LaVar declared that Lonzo that will carry the Lakers to the playoffs in his first year and the Rookie of the Year award is in the bag. Johnson, who now works as Lakers president of basketball operations, said he is confident that Lonzo’s jersey will be up in the Staples Center rafters when he retires.

Bryant led Lakers to five titles

Bryant went straight to the #NBA out of high school and led the Lakers to five NBA titles in 2000 to 2002, 2009 and 2010. Bryant won the MVP Award in 2008 and was an 18-time All-Star and a two-time NBA Finals MVP. Johnson, for his part, led the Lakers’ dynasty in the 1980s with titles in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.

Johnson won the MVP trophy three times in 1987, 1989 and 1990 and was a 12-time All-Star. In his career, Bryant finished his 20-year career with 33,643 points, third in the NBA all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.

Ball favorite to win Rookie of the Year

According to OddsShark, Las Vegas sportsbooks installed Ball as the favorite for the Rookie of the Year awards, two months before the start of the 2017-18 NBA season.

Ball is the +175 favorite, Dennis Smith Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks is at +325 while Philadelphia 76ers teammates Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz follow at +375 and +1000, respectively. Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum is +1000 and De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings is +1200. Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz is +1400, Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns is +1600, Malik Monk of the Charlotte Hornets is +2500 and Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic is +3300. Ball showed his wares in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 9.3 assists en route to winning the MVP trophy.