Very few players have come into the NBA under the amount of pressure that Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball will face. Between the proclomations of his father, the expectations set forth by Magic Johnson, and the fact that he is a hometown kid expected to lead the most popular franchise in the NBA, all eyes will be on Lonzo from day one.
One player who knows something about pressure from a young age is Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson. First catching scouts eyes at the age of 12, Stephenson went on to star at the same high school as New York legends Sebastian Telfair and Stephon Marbury, ultimately becoming the leading scorer in the history of New York high school basketball.
Now an established veteran in the NBA, Stephenson has played with and against the best the league has to offer. In an interview with Brian Josephs of Bleacher Report, Stephenson said that he believes Ball has all the makings of a star:
“I like Lonzo Ball. I’ve been watching him through the whole summer league and I’m feeling like, he got the full package. He just gotta put it all together and do it in the season.”
Lonzo showed the impact he can make on a team during the Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 16.3 points, 9.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.5 steals on his way to winning MVP and helping the Lakers win their first ever Summer League Championship.
Of course, doing it in the regular season is a lot more difficult than the summer as the level of competition is obviously much higher. Nonetheless, Lonzo looks to be a special talent and he has caught the eye of players around the league.
Now the pressure will be on for Ball to keep up that level of play and help lead the Lakers back into playoff contention. If he can do that, the whole world will take notice.