LeBron James knows all about living up to impossible expectations, so it should be suprise that the King is the only one able to rationally break down Lonzo Ball’s rookie season.
Dominating his now-15th NBA season — James is aware of what it takes to perform under immense pressure and spotlight.
While chatting with reporters — James addressed Ball’s highly scrutinized rookie year, and how he’s handled those pressures, hours before the Lakers face the host Cavs on Thursday.
James spoke about how Ball has handled those expectations with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on Tuesday night after a win agaisnt the Hawks.
“So, can I draw any parallel to my experience? I mean, of course. I guess when you’re drafted to a franchise, they want you to kind of be the savior. And it takes a while. I mean, listen, man, this guy is 20-something games into his pro career. S— doesn’t happen [that fast]. Here it goes again, it goes back to my instant oatmeal [quote]: Everybody wants it right away. Can he play ball? Absolutely. The kid can play ball. Do guys want to play with him? Absolutely, because it’s a guy who is not about him. It’s about the success of the team. And he gives the ball up, and he passes the ball, and there’s energy behind the ball.”
“The kid hasn’t said anything,” James said. “It’s been everybody else. So, I love his humility. He goes out, every time someone asks him a question, he says, ‘This is not about me, man. I just want to win. I don’t care about what I did.’ I seen he had a triple-double one game and they lost. He was like, ‘I don’t care. We lost.’”
Ball’s “humble” and “selfless” play is one reason may around the league bleieves James will take his talents to L.A.