Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball youngest to triple-double in NBA history

By @saihoops on
Lonzo Ball
Nov 3, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball (2) drives against Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (24) in the second quarter at Staples Center. USA TODAY Sports / Richard Mackson

Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball on Saturday became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double during the Los Angeles Lakers' 98-90 away loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Although Ball ended up on the losing side, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft showed more flashes of a future superstar player.

Ball, at age 20 years, 15 days, surpassed the previous record held by LeBron James, who had previously been the youngest to get a triple-double at the age of 20 years, 20 days. James achieved the statistical milestone during the 2004-05 season, his second year in the league. 

The Lakers rookie finished with an impressive tally of 19 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists, 3 steals and 4 blocks, while shooting an improved field goal percentage. Ball had been under fire in recent weeks for his historically-bad shooting numbers. On Saturday, however, Ball connected on three of his five three-point attempts.

Lonzo Ball puts on a show against Jason Kidd's team

As aptly described by ESPN, Ball put on a passing clinic while playing against a team coached by Jason Kidd, the player the Lakers rookie has drawn most comparisons with. In fact, Ball's first year statistics (thus far) are almost identical to that of Kidd, who averaged 11.7 points, 7.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds as a rookie for the Dallas Mavericks in 1994-95.

"It's perhaps fitting that Ball collected his first triple-double in his first game against Bucks coach Jason Kidd, who is third all-time in the department with 107, behind only Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. But Ball, playing in his 13th career game, got his first triple-double much quicker than Kidd, who needed 68 games to get his first," Lakers insider Ohm Youngmisuk wrote.

Magic Johnson, the President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers, predicted that Ball would registered multiple triple-doubles in his rookie season. Johnson made the call after Ball became the first rookie to notch up the statistical milestone during the Las Vegas Summer League.

"You can see that (he will get a lot of triple-doubles). If he's getting triple-doubles in the summer league, he is going to get triple-doubles in the regular season. Just like me, when I got here, there was pressure. I was the No. 1 pick (in 1979). I didn't care about that. I am going to play my game. Lonzo is going to play his game. The great ones do," Johnson said after Ball won the MVP award and led the Lakers to the Summer League crown in July. 

Lonzo Ball and the Lakers will return to the West Coast for an away clash against the Phoenix Suns on Monday. The Lakers went 0-3 during their three-game road trip of the East, courtesy losses against the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks.