Lakers News: Lonzo Ball Favors LeBron James, But Still Draws Inspiration From Kobe Bryant
Lonzo Ball
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

A Chino Hills, Calif., native, product of UCLA, and a pass-first point guard, Lonzo Ball was seemingly destined to be drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. But for all the parallels drawn to franchise icon Magic Johnson, Ball favored LeBron James over another Lakers legend in Kobe Bryant.

The rookie has referred to James as his favorite player and the best player on several occasions. Normally, it would be blasphemous for someone with ties to the Lakers to champion James over Bryant, considering the semi-fabricated rivalry between the two.

Though, that’s not to say the 20-year-old didn’t view Bryant in a similar light. “Kobe was up there with [James],” Ball said.

“I felt like my game was more like LeBron’s than Kobe’s, so that’s why I gravitated towards [James’] game more, but Kobe is one of the best to ever do it. I’m glad he’s getting both jerseys retired.”

Like others on the Lakers roster have shared, Ball drew inspiration from Bryant’s work ethic and mindset. “Just watching Kobe, I loved his mentality,” he said. “Not scared of anybody and always wants to win, very competitive. I think that’s the biggest thing to take away from his game.”

In watching Bryant’s playing career he also saw a Shaquille O’Neal in his prime who helped the lead the franchise to three consecutive NBA titles. O’Neal has long maintained he and Bryant were the best one-two punch. Ball would not be one to argue against that.

“I watched all Kobe and Shaq, that was my favorite duo when I was little,” he said. “It was the best shooting guard with the best center, so it was tough to deal with. I definitely watched [Kobe] all the time.”

Next for Ball may be a meeting with Bryant, which Ball said has not yet been scheduled but is one he’s hopeful to have.

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERS NATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

March Madness: Marshall Clowns Ryan Kelly After Duke Loss To Mercer

[new_royalslider id=”131″] The biggest upset of the 2014 NCAA Tournament took place…

Jordan Hill Becomes Ambassador For Breast Cancer Awareness

Jordan Hill is known for his toughness and energy that provides the…

Magic Johnson Promises To Step Aside If He Can’t Turn Around The Lakers

As a franchise, it would appear that the Los Angeles Lakers are embarking on the beginning of a new era….

Russell Westbrook Has Big Expectations For Lakers’ Pace And Athleticism

The addition of Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster caught a lot of attention in the offseason…