The last months have been like a long and never ending sweet dream for 2018 Los Angeles Lakers second round draft pick Isaac Bonga as he has been experiencing what life is like being part of one of the worlds most known basketball organizations. The new G-league season started a few days ago and until it did Bonga was able to catch NBA games at the end of the Lakers bench and experience the amazing atmosphere of the Staples center. For most it must be unimaginable what it must be like having conversations on a daily basis with the current greatest player on earth Lebron James, the best point guard of all-time Magic Johnson and Mr triple double Rajon Rondo at the Lakers training facility not to mention learning added vital basketball skills from South Bay player development coach once known as Ron Artest and now known as World Metta World Peace and head coach Coby Karl. Only four years ago Karl played his last professional season in Ludwigsburg as Bonga was a raw talent In Koblenz, Germany and a year away from starting his flight to the NBA via Frankfurt. Sometimes it is very interesting how basketball paths once so far away come together in only a few years. In the NBA and G-League world there isn´t much time to dream and get caught up and be distracted by all the legends walking around, but just focus on the game. That is something that Bonga has surprisingly done well despite the tender age of only 18 years. He had a non spectacular Summer league playing 7 games averaging 2.1ppg, 1.0rpg. His lack of minutes didn´t discourage him as he continued to work hard in the summer keeping the work ethic that he had in Frankfurt. He had his moments in the pre-season dropping 12 points, hauling down 9 boards and dishing out 5 assists against the Golden State Warriors. It was no surprise when he was sent to the Lakers G-League affiliate South Bay Lakers for grooming.
The G-League season began for the South Bay Lakers against the StocktonKings and how ironic it was that Bonga´s first official game for the Los Lakers in the G-League was against an ex Fraport Skyliner with Tyrone Ellis. No Ellis wasn´t on the court anymore, but after a stellar professional career overseas that spanned 11 seasons where he helped Bonga´s ex team Frankfurt Skyliners win the league title in 2004, he has been working his way up as a coach in the G-League since some years as an assistant with the Reno Bighorns, Grand Rapids Drive, and Bakersfield Jam and now is the head coach of the Stockton Kings after being the head coach last season of the Northern Suns. You have to wonder if Ellis knew that Bonga had learned his trade for his ex team Frankfurt Skyliners and his ex head coach Gordon Herbert. Bonga didn´t disappoint anyone in Laker nation or his German fans especially those from the Frankfurt Skyliner community. Bonga looked sharp playing 29 minutes and led all scorers with 27 points on 7/14 shooting, shooting 2/3 from outside and was perfect from the free throw line 7/7. He was literally all over the court hauling down 9 rebounds while crashing the offensive glass getting four offensive rebounds. He also dished out 3 assists and swatted away 2 balls. He harmonized very well with fellow German Moritz Wagner out of Michigan that contributed 17 points. Bonga looked really comfortable and under control on the court as he only suffered two coughed up balls. It will not only be interesting to see if he can continue to play at a consistent basis in the G-league and if yes just how long it will take for him to garner his first NBA minutes. “I didn´t know that Bonga had played with the Skyliners. We play them again tomorrow. I will talk with him about his time with the Skyliners. He is long, athletic and a playmaker. He played the 2-3-4 against us. He is a very skilled player and was the best player on the court. His good game doesn´t surprise me knowing now that he learned from Gordon Herbert. It was the same for me. He helped me become a pro as well. What really impressed me about Bonga is that he loves to compete. He remained aggressive on offense and never backed down. I see him staying in the G-League this season and next season developing his body. He is still small”, stressed Stockton Kings head coach Tyrone Ellis. None of his ex Frankfurt teammates who played with him on the youth and farm teams were in the closet or had forgotten about him, but were beaming when confronted about his debut on the weekend after the 83-79 win against the Telekom Baskets Bonn. His ex teammates surely can´t imagine how much Bonga´s life has changed in the last 4 months and just being mentioned in the same breath with a Magic or Lebron is mind boggling, but they surprisingly had enough nerves after the nail bitter win with answers to a peculiar, but quite innovative question. If Bonga was a kid and had the choice between Magic and Lebron as to who he would rather tell him a good night story, who would he pic
Richard Freudenberg: I am very proud of Isaac. He had a very good debut. That first game will help him. He has self confidence and he will go his way. He will soon be plaing in the NBA with the Lakers. I think he would pick Magic for the good night story. I just think that he could tell better stories than Lebron. As for myself I would want Magic to tell the good night story. I´m a Boston Celtics fan and not a Lakers fan.
Konstantin Schubert: I know him for some time now. I have so many nice memories with him. I think the nicest memory I have of him was our first NBBL(U-19 league) game. We had so much fun. I remember that I would find him and he would find me. I think he would choose Magic for the good night story and I would pick Lebron.
Armin Trtovac: That was a great debut. I´m really happy for him. It must be a great feeling for him to have dominated so much in his first game. That just shows that he deserved to be drafted. I think he would pick Lebron for the good night story and so would I.
Felix Hecker: That was a great start for him. It is out of the ordinary that he dominated like that. I am really happy for him. I think he would pick Magic for the good night story, because his game fits Magic´s game more. I would choose Lebron.
Garai Zeeb: I didn´t see the game. I know that he has trained so hard for this chance. It also isn´t easy that he is playing the four. He is learning to dominate against smaller players. He will continue to work hard for the next step. I think he would pick Magic because his style fits that of Magic. I would pick Lebron.
TJ DiLeo(Telekom Baskets Bonn): He has so much length, a great basketball body and is just a very smart basketball player. His basketball IQ is way above his years. You can tell that he will be a good shooter. He was a very good free throw shooter last season at 90%. Being able to do that is always a very good sign that his shot will be there one day.