From the moment Los Angeles Lakers fans were introduced to Lonzo Ball, they knew that the Chino Hills product had grown up idolizing LeBron James. So when the superstar forward joined Ball on the Lakers, that dynamic was sure to be a strong one.
On the latest episode of James’ HBO show “The Shop,” Ball spoke about his first interaction with James after the latter had joined the team.
(Warning: NSFW language)
“It was crazy for me cause I didn’t know what to say to him for the first time. For me, I’ve been watching him my whole life and I had all his jerseys and everything. So when I seen him, I think I was just like ‘What’s up?’ but I didn’t know like ‘Do I ask him questions?’ I honestly didn’t get comfortable with you until after All-Star. I was kind of like…I just don’t know how to be around him because it was like I’d never really been around somebody I looked up to like that. And then I see him in the locker room and it’s like, this is crazy, man.”
When prodded more by Pharell Williams about why he looked up to LeBron, Lonzo had the following to say:
“I mean that was the first part just because, obviously, you know I love the game. And he was my favorite player so like I think it’s all between…still is. But like my generation I think it’s either ‘Bron, you’ve got, you’ve got LeBron or you get Kobe. And Kobe, and the way I’ve played my whole life was more towards [LeBron]. I want to get triple-doubles. I want to help the team win, all the categories. I don’t want to just score the ball. So I think that’s what gravitated me to him.”
Obviously, it must have been an otherworldly experience for Lonzo to now be teammates with James. But he also saw the more realistic side of some of the frustrations that come with those expectations. Of course, if things turn around then those frustrations will also dwell down.