Lonnie Walker IV is an example of the power of a positive attitude

During the first couple of months of this regular season, Lonnie Walker IV, a guard the Los Angeles Lakers signed to a one-year contract last summer, was arguably their third-best player, at least offensively.

In his first 30 games of the year, he averaged 15.3 points a game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from 3-point range, numbers that were significantly higher than those he put up in his first four seasons in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.

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But Walker got injured shortly later, and not long after he returned, he fell out of head coach Darvin Ham’s rotation as a result of the blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade.

He got little playing time, usually in garbage time, and there were plenty of games in which he never saw the court.

Some players in his position would’ve pouted and suffered from a bout of self-pity while preparing to leave their current team during the offseason. But Walker stayed positive and ready.

He got some playing time at the end of the Lakers’ Game 2 blowout loss against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday and did well, which earned him 24 minutes in Game 3 and allowed him to score a dozen points.


Walker got 27 minutes in Game 4 on Monday, and he was the man of the hour, scoring all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter. With LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell playing poorly offensively, Walker was literally the difference between winning and losing for L.A., as it came out on top 104-101 and took a 3-1 series lead.

Self-help guru Zig Ziglar once said that “success occurs when opportunity meets preparation,” and that’s exactly what happened for the 24-year-old.

Walker has maintained a positive attitude throughout

Shortly after being replaced in the Lakers’ rotation, Walker posted this inspirational message on his Instagram account.

After he got meaningful playing time in the Lakers’ Game 3 win, he said “it felt like a dream” to play in the playoffs.


If Game 3 felt like a dream, Game 4 must’ve felt like heaven for him.

Afterward, he dropped lots of nuggets about his attitude about being benched and how he kept himself from slipping into a dark place.

“At every single level that I’ve encountered with has always had a lot of adversities… I think that’s the most important thing, is trying to better yourself every day. It’s not going to be all flowers and lollipops and good and stuff. There’s going to be hard times… This is nothing new.”


It may be safe to say that after his gutsy Game 4 performance, Walker has regained his spot in Ham’s rotation.

Ham praised Walker's attitude after Game 4

After the Lakers’ big win, Ham was effusive in talking about Walker’s work ethic and intangibles.

“The kid is a beautiful kid. He fell out of the rotation through no fault of his own… But he remained a trooper, remained professional, high-spirited and positive and really kept working on his game… When your mind and your heart is in a good place, the body follows… Kudos to him.”


Ham has created a culture based on positivity, accountability and hard work, and Walker has benefited from that culture through his own positivity and hard work.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire