Lonzo Ball idolized LeBron James growing up, and, because of that, the Los Angeles Lakers point guard admitted that he wasn’t exactly comfortable hanging out with the four-time league MVP on the regular, even saying it took until more than halfway through the season to adjust to life with LeBron.
While appearing on James’ HBO show The Shop, Lonzo Ball explained what it was like for him to actually be on the same team as the three-time NBA champ. After all, Lonzo just ended his second season in the NBA after being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, where he was thought to be the face of the franchise.
“It was crazy for me, because I didn’t know what to say to him the first time, because it was like, for me I had been watching him my whole life, and owned his jerseys and everything. So when I seen him, I think I just was like ‘yo what’s up?’ (the whole room laughs). But I didn’t know like whether to ask him questions, and I just kind of felt it out.
“I honestly didn’t really get comfortable with you until like after All-Star, I was kind of like ‘I don’t know how to be around him’ because I had never really been around somebody that I looked up to like that. Then I see him in the locker room and it’s like, it was crazy.”
You can see the clip from The Shop below, which shows Lonzo Ball describing what it was like to meet James.
It’s interesting to see a guy of Lonzo Ball’s stature feel a big intimidated by LeBron James. It makes sense, but, still, maybe part of this is why the Lakers were a complete mess this season — because James presence was tough for some of his younger teammates to adjust to. Ball also admitted that James’ first scrimmage with the team resulted in a complete beatdown, too, which had to put the entire team on notice as to what should be expected. Unfortunately, the team didn’t live up to expectations, though.
As for why Lonzo Ball said he idolized LeBron James so much growing up, Ball said it was because they shared similarities on the floor, so he gravitated towards getting his teammates involved more than a guy like Kobe Bryant, who often looked to score first.
”I mean, that was the first part just because obviously I love the game and he was my favorite player… Like my generation I think you got LeBron, or you got Kobe. And the way i played my whole life was more towards him. I wanted to get triple-doubles, I want to help the team win all categories, I don’t want to just score the ball. So I think that’s what gravitated me to him.”
Although the Lakers had a terrible season — which ended in President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson resigning before the final regular season game — fans of the purple and gold have to be excited that both Lonzo Ball and LeBron James are trying to get to know one another better heading into a critical offseason. Who knows what that means moving forward, but it could lead to better communication overall.