Alvin Gentry says Lonzo Ball was as good as any other point guard in the NBA before the season stalled

Things were really coming together for Lonzo.

Feb 28, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guards Jrue Holiday (11) and Lonzo Ball (2) in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry says he was really impressed with Lonzo Ball before the NBA season got suspended in March, claiming the 22-year-old was playing as well as any other point guard in the league.

Ball joined the Pelicans this season after spending a perhaps disappointing two-year stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. He moved to New Orleans as part of the trade that saw Anthony Davis go the other way, joining Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart in what’s now one of the most promising young cores in the NBA.

Photo: Tyler Kaufman / Associated Press

Gentry was interviewed by The Athletic this week and was asked who he thought was really hitting his stride before the season stalled.

“Yeah, I think it’s that guy named Zion,” he said with a laugh. “I thought he was beginning to play really good basketball. I’ll tell you, the other guy I was really impressed with was Lonzo Ball. I thought Lonzo was playing as well as any other point guard around the league. (Assistant coach) Fred Vinson has done such a great job of instilling confidence in Lonzo, as far as his shot goes, and I’m shocked when they don’t guard him now.”

Gentry added Lonzo Ball and was part of a budding chemistry.

“The most important thing for me was that it really felt like the chemistry was coming together and everyone knew their roles and accepted their roles,” he continued. “Once everyone gets to that point, I think everything eventually falls into place and you’ll get to experience some success.”

It’s believed that the Pelicans could start negotiations over a contract extension with Ball this summer.