When asked what made the regular-season opener special after his experiences in the summer league and preseason, Ball downplayed it a bit, saying, "It's the opener. That's all there is to it. Gotta get a win."
But Ball also shot down any chance he'd miss the game Thursday: "No, I'm playing. For sure."
Ball has been restricted since injuring his ankle in an Oct. 2 preseason home loss to the Denver Nuggets and was held out of the last four preseason games.
With the season opener days away, the Lakers are ready to let Ball get up and down the court.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ball's return to being able to scrimmage was a mixed bag: "Lonzo showed why he's going to be really good, but he also showed that he's been out for a couple of weeks with some of the turnovers that he had."
"Definitely a little rusty," Ball agreed. "I had a lot of turnovers today. But like I said, as long as I'm ready for Thursday, that's all that matters. ... My wind is not that bad to be honest. ... A couple of passes I usually make were short today. But I'll be ready for Thursday."
Walton also commented on Ball's shoe choice for the regular season, saying that what the rookie wants to wear will be Ball's decision.
"As long as the shoes are strong enough to support, he's going to wear what he wants," Walton said. "They're shoes, he should be fine. Guys used to play in Chuck Taylors, and played entire NBA careers. Unless there's like an actual, something wrong with the way they're made -- the stitching where it just rips out, which I haven't seen happen -- I think he should be able to wear what he wants."
Ball said that being off the court for so long helped him in some ways, and that he's not concerned about the time missed.
"You get to see what you have to work on, definitely," Ball said. "We're trying to tune things up before it's time to go. I think we need to focus more on our defense than offense. I think the offense will come if the defense does good."
While Ball was at practice, power forward Julius Randle was "very limited" because of an intercostal strain suffered in Friday's preseason win against the Clippers, and is listed as day-to-day. Walton added that Randle was restricted to getting shots up and half-court work. Walton also said that rookie Josh Hart will have an MRI on a strained left Achilles tendon.