There have been few rookies with such fanfare since the turn of the century like LeBron James and Lonzo Ball. James was a highly regarded transcendent prospect out of Akron with skills people haven’t since in a teenager in years. Meanwhile, Lonzo Ball does have a ton of skill but it wasn’t his game that garnered fanfare. It was his father and the insistence on getting him to the Los Angeles Lakers hyped up his profile to insane heights. Still, either way, they got to the league both players were under a major microscope during their rookie years.
And it’s the attention Ball gets that has LeBron James noting parallels between himself and the eldest Ball child. LeBron James says he appreciates the humility that Ball is showing during his rookie year and understands the small stresses that come with being viewed as a ‘franchise savior’. LeBron also makes a small comment noting that players do want to play with Lonzo given his unselfish nature as a player.
Following comes from Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“The kid hasn’t said anything,” James told ESPN when asked about the hype surrounding Ball. “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.’
“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.”
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