After the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night, the story of the game wasn’t anything that happened during the 48 minutes of regulation. Instead, it the internet was abuzz about a secret conversation between LeBron James and Lonzo Ball at halfcourt.
Ball and James were mum about the moment — which saw both players cover their mouths with their jerseys to share a few words after the final buzzer sounded — during their respective postgame interviews.
Still, social media whipped itself into a frenzy not just because the two players involved are two of the league’s most discussed, but also because of the widespread speculation that James might sign with the Lakers during free agency.
It turns out that the two players (unsurprisingly) didn’t say anything about that during their closed discussion, which we now know the details of thanks to an intrepid Reddit investigator discovering a microphone that picked up what James actually told Ball, via Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk:
“Find your zone and just stay f—ing locked in. The media is going to ask you what I told you right now. Tell them nothing. Just be aggressive every single day. It’s white noise to you. That’s all it is. Alright? Let’s go.”
It’s not exactly a shock that Ball and James weren’t diagramming plays for themselves to use as teammates out on the court.
James knew that the media would, as with everything that happens with Ball, turn their moment into a feeding frenzy to find out the nature of their conversation. And he used it as a lesson to remind Ball that none of that extra drama matters.
As long as the Lakers rookie doesn’t get caught up in the deluge of attention, he can focus on what’s really important, something LeBron knows well as one of the few players ever to receive the type of early attention Ball has.
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