LeBron James conducted his first interviews as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, and the new Hollywood star provided his thoughts on his new teammates during media day. One of the storylines since James signed with the Lakers, is how he would fit would Lonzo Ball. James was complimentary of his new teammate in an interview with ESPN’s David Mcmenamin.
“Destined for greatness, I believe,” James told ESPN when asked to describe Ball. “His basketball IQ, his ability to pass the ball, you get a sense from his teammates that they like playing with him.”
CBS Sports reported that Ball will start the season coming off the bench as he continues to recover from knee surgery.
Ball was medically cleared last week, but it appears coach Luke Walton wants to ease him back into action by bringing him off the bench to begin the season. It’s possible he still trends near 30 minutes per night early in the year, but a slow start could be in store from a minutes standpoint. Once he’s feeling comfortable again, it’s possible he’ll join the starting five.
There had been some concern as to how James would handle playing with Ball, particularly with his outspoken father LaVar Ball. So far, it sounds like the two are going to do just fine. Here’s a look at the full interview with James.
Lonzo Believes His Added Strength Will Be a Key to His Success & Downplayed His New Shooting Form
Videos of Ball shooting this offseason went viral after it appeared he had tweaked his release. Ball downplayed the shooting changes but did emphasize his added strength as a reason for optimism.
“Everybody is saying my jump shot [is] this new thing,” Ball explained to ESPN. “To me, it is not really changed a lot. I just think I got a lot stronger. So I ain’t got to really fling the ball like I did last year. [The set point] moved a little bit more to the middle but it is still on the left side. But just trying to focus on my mechanics, keeping my hand up, keeping my elbow in more and just me being stronger, my upper body, it’s just easier for me to get to the rim.”
LeBron & the Lakers Tipped Off Their First Practice
It may seem early but the Lakers have begun training camp practices. After Day 1, James stressed a word Lakers fans may not want to hear: patience.
“I’m not a very patient guy but I understand that I have to be patient right now,” James told the Los Angeles Times. “I got to be patient with myself too because this is a new start for me. This is my first year here. This is my first year in the new system. I know how to play the game of basketball but this is all new to me too. So I have to be patient with myself. Not only with my teammates, but more with myself.”