EL SEGUNDO — The lights inside Staples Center will go dark, music will blast, the lineup will be introduced. And when the lights come up on Thursday night, Lonzo Ball will be on the court, poised to make his debut in the Lakers’ season opener.
“I’m playing for sure,” Ball said.
The Lakers rookie put to rest any concern that the sprained ankle that forced him to miss all but six quarters of the preseason would affect his availability when the regular season begins Thursday against the Clippers.
Ball was on the floor for the Lakers’ scrimmages on Monday, leading the first team to a victory, bringing his overall record, he said, to “a lot of wins to very little losses.”
His presence back on the floor was welcome, although Coach Luke Walton said the scrimmage was “sloppy” and that Ball committed “way too many turnovers.”
“Lonzo showed why he’s going to be really good,” Walton said. “But he also showed that he’s been out for a couple weeks with some of the turnovers he had.”
Ball sighed in agreement, saying he was “a little rusty.”
“I had a lot of turnovers today,” he said, “but, like I said, as long as I’m ready for Thursday that’s all that matters.”
Ball has not played since Oct. 2, when he suffered what was then termed a mild left ankle sprain. He missed the final four exhibition games, and did not participate in practices until Oct. 12. Monday was the first day he scrimmaged.
The former UCLA and Chino Hills High star cleared up one mystery on Monday. When asked which shoes he plans to wear once the regular season arrives he said, “We’ll see. I’ll probably play in mine.”
That would put to rest the parlor game that first sprung up in Summer League, and continued into his two preseason appearances, when Ball made waves by alternating between his signature Big Baller Brand ZO2s and other companies’ sneakers.
Despite the fact Ball is coming off a significant ankle sprain, the Lakers have no plans to…