While many NBA fans and critics have placed heavy pressure on Lonzo Ball, LeBron James has always been the one to praise Lakers rookie since the beginning of the season. Drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, Ball has had plenty of pressure because his father LaVar Ball has gloated that his son would be better than many NBA legends.

However, Ball is a very humble player, whose only intention is to play hard and win games. The pressure that has been put on him has been unfair, and James recognizes it.

James shows more gratitude towards Ball

LeBron James has been aware of Lonzo’s unselfishness, saying, “The kid hasn’t said anything. It’s been everybody else.”

James is absolutely right. Ball has been quietly playing his game, and even though he is struggling, there is no reason why media and fans should eat him up for his poor play. Ball goes about his business, but others, like his father, do all the talking for him.

“So, I love his humility,” James continued in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. The Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers will clash Thursday night, LeBron’s first time playing against the rookie Point Guard.

James knows a lot about being hated and having pressure on him. When he was drafted first overall by the Cavaliers in 2003, Cleveland believed that James would deliver a champion, but he failed to do so for many years.

Ultimately, James left Cleveland to join the Miami Heat where he received more hate and lost respect. But, James eventually returned to the Cavaliers and delivered a long-awaited championship to Cleveland.

Therefore, James is one superstar who would understand what Ball is going through. “So, can I draw any parallel to my experience?

I mean, of course.”

It’s going to take time for Ball

James then talks about how when you’re drafted into an organization, they want you to be the savior. “Listen, man, this guy is 20-something games into his pro career. S*** doesn’t happen [that fast].”

James admits that Ball can play the game and has talent, but it’s going to take time for him to adapt.

He says that Ball is selfless, a player who loves to pass the ball and create for his teammates. Having that kind of selflessness, James believes that players would love to play with him.

James’ 2018 free agency

It’s interesting that James says that because he will become a free agent in 2018, and the Lakers are considered favorites to land him. James has already expressed his interest in playing with Ball, so it’s an encouraging sign for the Lakes that James appreciates Ball very much.

Early in the season, Ball notched his first career triple-double, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to attain a triple-double, surpassing James. Averaging 8.9 points, 7.0 assists, and 6.9 rebounds per game, Ball has shown his all-around skill, although his shooting has been suffering.