When news broke that LeBron James was signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, it is hard pressed to believe anyone was more excited than Lonzo Ball.
It is well known the player Ball idolized growing up more than anyone was James, so having the opportunity to team up and learn from him was a dream come true.
Actually coming together with that idol is a different subject altogether. When both were healthy, they fit well together on the court as Ball not being a ball-dominant player allowed James to operate in the same way in which he’s comfortable. However, it took Ball much longer to feel comfortable off the court.
Ball recently appeared on James’ “The Shop” and revealed that he didn’t get comfortable being around him until after the All-Star break:
“Honestly, I didn’t really get comfortable with you until after All-Star. I was kinda on edge. I didn’t know how to be around him. I never really been around somebody that I looked up to like that. I seen him around the locker room and it was crazy.”
Even the biggest of celebrities usually have that one person that can still leave them star-struck and for Ball, that person is James. As the 21-year-old noted, he looked up to James growing up and to just be around him on a daily basis and interact with him had to be an experience unlike anything else.
Obviously, the 2018-19 NBA season didn’t go the way either hoped — both from an individual and team standpoint. The Lakers failed to make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season while both James and Ball missed significant portions of Year 1 together due to injury.
Ball now has his most important offseason ahead of him as he and James will be looking to turn things around in Year 2.