Jason Kidd shuts down Lonzo Ball comparisons: 'He has a ways to go'

WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - Jason Kidd is one of the greatest, most versatile point guards in NBA history. He's a lock to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018, his first year of eligibility, and is cemented throughout the pro hoops record books, whether it be for assists (second all-time with 12,091), triple-doubles (third all-time with 107) or All-Defensive selections (tied for fifth all-time with nine).

So as Kidd, now head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, sees it, it's time to stop comparing him to Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.

Making an appearance on ESPN's First Take on Thursday, Kidd said that those comparisons, which have been thrown around since Ball entered the national spotlight last year at UCLA, are "a stretch."

"The first thing (when making those comparisons) — does someone play hard for 48 minutes and are you willing to do anything to win?" Kidd said. " ... He has to understand what it means to play hard and what it means to win and how to win at the highest level. It takes time. Hopefully, in three years, maybe there is a better comparison. But right now, it is a stretch, and he has a ways to go."

As Kidd noted, it's "still early" in Ball's career. He only has 11 NBA games under his belt and is a year away from his 21st birthday. Great things take time, and for Ball, the potential to be great is certainly there.

But the first three weeks of Ball's career have been underwhelming. He's averaging 6.8 assists and 6.3 rebounds, good enough for second and fourth, respectively, among his fellow rookies. But his scoring — he's averaging 8.8 points per game on 29.5% shooting from the field and 23.1% from beyond the arc and has only reached the double-digit mark twice — has been an early cause for concern.

"It's going to take a little time because of all the hype and expectations that everybody thought he was going to come out and set the league on fire," Kidd said, noting that Ball will be "fine" as his career progresses. " ... He still has the skill set that a lot of guys don't have in this league, and that's making his teammates better."

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