Lakers’ Lonzo Ball will finally get the chance to play against his favorite player Lebron James.
Since he entered the NBA, the rookie has made it known that he has always been a Lebron fan regardless of growing up a Lakers fan during the Kobe era. In August, Ball was asked to weigh in on the Lebron v Kobe debate in which he replied:
“My favorite player was LeBron growing up. But he does have a point. Championships do mean a lot,” Ball said. “But, uhh, it’s tough. I’m a Laker. I want to go with Kobe. But I’ve been saying LeBron for my whole life, so I’ma go with LeBron.”
He’s mentioned that he grew up with Lebron posters covering the walls in his room and he would have completely attempted to model his game after the King’s but he wasn’t blessed with the size and strength Lebron possesses. Although, the part that Ball was able to emulate from James’ style of play was his unselfishness and willingness to keep his teammates involved. Lonzo is averaging seven assists a game through the first 26 games of his career. Lebron averaged 5.9 assists per game throughout his rookie season and is averaging a career high nine assists so far this season.
“In my opinion, he is the best player in the world,” Ball said. “I just feel like he plays the game the right way. He probably can easily go out for 50 every night but focuses on his team, getting triple-doubles and (getting) guys involved. It is my first time playing him, I am looking forward to it, should be a lot of fun.”
Lonzo’s father, Lavar, quarreled with Lebron early in 2017 while Lonzo was still a freshman at UCLA but that hasn’t stopped Lebron from displaying his own admiration for the now Lakers rookie. Lebron made an appearance at the Summer League during the offseason to watch Lonzo play, he publically praised Lonzo’s game and attitude on mulitple occassions and he even wished the rook a happy birthday on twitter.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 27, 2017 Prior to Lebron tweetin Lonzo, there was speculation that he may leave Cleveland again to join the Lakers. That tweet inflated more speculation on the topic just based off of the fact that the 15-year veteran that’s also the best player in the league is actually acknowledging a rookie on a different team and wishing them happy birthday. Every time Lebron talks about Lonzo, speculation rises as high as it can. Not even a month later, Lebron praised Ball again for passing him as they youngest player ever to record a triple double.
“I think he’s going to be a really, really good point guard in our league, probably a great point guard if he continues to work on his craft, which it seems like he does. They got a good one.”
Lonzo passes Lebron as they youngest to record a triple-double at 20 years and 15 days old. Image via Slamonline.com[/caption]<b
care about that triple double or the feat behind it due to the Lakers losing the game and Lebron, once again, praised the 20-year-old Ball's humility for keeping the team before himself and staying as composed as he can throughout his first year in the pros.
"The kid hasn't said anything," James said, according to ESPN. "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.'"
The speculation of Lebron going to LA won't mean anything until the offseason when Lebron has the option of opting out of his contract to test free agency again or re-sign with the Cavs. Right now, Lebron is focused on keeping his team on the right path. The path that helped the Cavs bounce back to win 15 of their previous 16 games after starting the season under .500 through the first 12 games including 9 straight home victories.
The Cavs got center Tristan Thompson back in the lineup after missing a month's worth of time with a calf injury. Dwyane Wade missed Tuesday's win over the Atlanta Hawks and his status is still questionable for Thursday's game.
On Thursday, Lebron and the Cavs will run through the Lakers on their home court to extend their time in the win column with the score of 121-108.