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Lonnie Walker IV, from a complicated childhood to a Lakers hero in the NBA Playoffs

Lonnie Walker was the hero of Game 4 for the L.A. Lakers, making good on the steep climb from a difficult background to NBA playoff glory.

Update:
Lonnie Walker IV, de una complicada infancia a héroe de Lakers en los NBA Playoffs
ALLEN BEREZOVSKYAFP

The Lakers moved to just one win away from reaching the Western Conference finals with a win in Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors. Neither Lebron James nor Anthony Davis were the stars propping up the Los Angeles victory. The surprise hero was a young man, only 24 years old, Lonnie Walker IV, who received all the praise from the biggest stars on the team.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Walker IV, however, and he had to overcome adversity to get to this moment. Back in 2020, when Walker was with the San Antonio Spurs, he let out a bombshell.

“During the summer of my fifth grade year, I was around more family,” Walker wrote on Instagram. “I was sexually harassed, raped, abused. I even got accustomed to it because being at that age you don’t know what’s what. I was a gullible, curious kid who did not know what the real world was. I had the mindset that my hair was something I could control. My hair was what I could make and create and be mine. And it gave me confidence.”

Walker’s caption accompanied a video of a barber cutting his hair. The Lakers guard then opened up about his various hairstyles over the years, noting: “My hair was a mask of me hiding the insecurities that I felt the world wasn’t ready for.”

The praise of James and Davis

In Game 4, the young man grew into himself, posting 15 points in the fourth quarter alone, leading the charge for Los Angeles. By the time the game ended, James and Davis knew that they were supporting players in the Angels’ victory and were not stingy with the praise, congratulating the 24-year-old in a postcard that went around the world.

“I told him that his time would come. Not only today, I’ve always told him. Without Lonnie Walker we wouldn’t have won” were some of James’ words at the end of the game that put the series 3-1 in favor of the Lakers.