On Friday, Lonzo Ball had his introductory press conference as a member of the Chicago Bulls. The media session, which was virtual, lasted about 12 minutes. Ball started the presser in a situation many of us have found ourselves in over the past year and a half: he was muted when he tried to answer the first question. However, after unmuting himself, Ball gave some great answers. Here are some highlights from what Ball said.
Question: What is it about the current team that you feel you can add to? What do you think you add to this group with Zach, Vooch, and now DeMar? What can you do to make them a playoff team?
This question came from Chicago Sun-Times reporter and friend of the Bulls On Tap podcast, Joe Cowley. While answering Cowley, Ball demonstrated confidence and clear knowledge of the team he is joining. Specifically, he acknowledged the team's need for perimeter defense.
"Just come in and do what I've been doing my whole life. You know, playing point guard, leading the team, getting things going on the defensive end for sure, picking up the ball. Just playing with energy and creating a good atmosphere that everyone wants to be a part of. Just building chemistry as a unit."
Question: The Bulls haven't been a team that has attracted or signed a whole bunch of free agents like yourself. When did they start to register on your radar?
Ball reiterated that the Bulls wanting him was a big pull for him. He also noted Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, and Patrick Williams as guys he wanted to play with.
"I mean, like you guys have said, they [the Bulls] have been on me for a minute now, so I feel like they wanted me, and I want to play for somebody who wants me to play for them. That was attractive. Obviously, Zach's over there, Vooch, Coby, Pat Williams. Young guys who know how to play, and they're an exciting team. I see the future and think we can get up and down and win basketball games. At the end of the day, that's how I want to play, and I'm happy to be a Bull."
Question: Are you confused at all that the Pelicans let you go to the Bulls? Did you think you were going to be leaving New Orleans?
Ball took a very professional approach in answering this question.
"I mean, the way I live my life, I think everything happens for a reason. Everything plays out how it's supposed to play out. I think at this point in my life, it was time for me to be a Chicago Bull. I'm happy to be in Chicago. I've got good bonds with New Orleans, and it could have worked out, but, like I said, everything happens for a reason."
Question: How do you deal with the uncertainty of the NBA's investigation into the trade and have you spoken yet to anyone from the league?
Ball didn't bite on this one, which is the right thing for him to do. Of course, we're all curious about the state of the investigation, but Ball dismissed this professionally.
"I haven't gotten into that, and I'm not going to get into that. I'm here today to just talk about me being a Bull and how happy I am to be a part of Chicago's organization."
Question: What were your impressions in dealing with Artūras [Karnišovas], Marc Eversley, and Billy Donovan?
Ball demonstrated the same excitement Bulls fans have been exhibiting regarding the front office. By mentioning how impressed he was by Karnišovas, Eversely, and their hand-picked head coach in Donovan, Ball confirmed that the new management is key in making this team competitive again.
"I was impressed. All great guys. I think the main thing for them is they just want to win, and they want guys to get better every day. I appreciate that: coming into work everyday, knowing that we're working toward something, and I can't wait to get things started."
Lonzo Ball made one thing clear: he wanted to play for the Bulls because the Bulls wanted him. Furthermore, Ball made it clear that he wants to play with the team the front office has assembled. All things considered, this is the type of press conference that Bulls fans would never have seen under the old regime. With Ball in tow alongside LaVine, Vucevic, and DeRozan for the next several seasons, the Bulls should continue to be a team that players want to play for. If you'd like, you can watch the whole press conference below.