Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant clarified his earlier statement about Lonzo Ball’s development in the NBA, saying his quote was twisted to make it appear that he's criticizing the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bryant posted a series of tweets and retweets to call out ESPN for twisting his words and making it look like he's slamming Ball. Earlier, Bryant was interviewed on Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles where he said Ball and other young Lakers players like Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle should have the win-now attitude to help themselves develop.

However, ESPN twisted his comment to look like he's criticizing Ball's poor performance. The 39-year-old Bryant carried the Lakers to five NBA titles during his career. Bryant won his first three titles while playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal from 2000 to 2002. He also won two more as the Lakers' main superstar in 2009 and 2010. Bryant retired after the 2015-16 season.

Bryant did not provide immediate impact

Bryant was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets 13th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, but they traded him to the Lakers. In his rookie year, Bryant was not impressive as he averaged just 7.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game in 15.5 minutes of action per game. However, Bryant became one of the Lakers’ greatest players.

In his 20-year stint with the team, he averaged 25.0 points, 5.2 points, and 4.7 rebounds in 1,346 career games. The 20-year-old Ball is averaging 8.8 points, 7.0 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals, but he has yet to live up to his billing as the No. 2 pick in the 2017 Draft due to his shooting struggles. Currently, Ball is making just 31.9 percent of his field-goal attempts and 24.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

The Lakers currently have a 9-15 record, coming off a close 107-104 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. In that game, Ball scored 10 points, grabbed eight boards, and issued eight assists while Brandon Ingram hit a three-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to carry the Lakers to victory.

Luke Walton shrugs off criticisms

Lakers head coach Luke Walton shrugged off the latest criticism from Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, who again unleashed on him about how the team was using his son.

“We don’t take parents’ opinions into our coaching decisions and how we’re trying to grow as a group,” said Walton, per Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. Recently, LaVar called on Lakers coaches to listen to him on how to coach his son. Earlier, LaVar also called the Lakers' coaching staff as soft.