From having his new haircut spread like wild fire as national news to his father feuding with the President of the United States, Lonzo Ball has been under far more of a spotlight than other rookies like Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox.
Most times than not for reasons that go far beyond his being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft or being a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. To his credit, Ball has largely turned a blind eye to the scrutiny.
He’s continued to plug away at improving, and drawn plenty of praise from teammates and coaches for a focus that’s remained on the basketball court.
Fox, who was a highly-touted prospect at every level himself and played in a high-profile college program in Kentucky, said that even he can’t fathom what it would be like to face the level of scrutiny Ball has, via Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
“The expectations are out of this world for him,” Fox said before the Kings’ 113-102 win over the Lakers. “I couldn’t imagine it.”
The way everything around the Ball family is covered, from their reality show to how every little quote they give is parsed for all, brought to mind similarities to a different famous, Southern California-based family in Fox’s estimation:
“It’s basically a famous family,” Fox said. “I was going to compare it to the Kardashians. Just necessarily saying how famous the family is, not what you do to get famous or anything like that. They are all being watched.”
Some of those expectations have to do with Ball’s father talking him up as the greatest ever, and others have to do with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson further hyping up the young point guard.
All of the Balls are being watched, but especially Lonzo, who has had both the good aspects of his game (his triple-doubles) and the bad (his shooting woes) mercilessly picked apart by both traditional media and a vocal faction of social media that seemingly just want to see him fail.
Whether or not he’ll give them what they want won’t be determined for quite some time, and until then, it seems basketball fans at large will just be keeping up with the Balls, no matter whether they’re up to something related to basketball or not.
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