LeBron James Says Lonzo Ball Is 'Someone That You Want to Play With'

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 15, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 14: Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers shakes hands with LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers after the game at Quicken Loans Arena on December 14, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Lakers 121-112. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball seems to have a fan in LeBron James

Speaking to reporters after the Cleveland Cavaliers topped the Los Angeles Lakers 121-112 at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night, James offered an endorsement of Ball's selfless approach to the game.   

"It’s always team," he said, according to the Los Angeles Times' Tania Ganguli. "Passes the ball. Pushes the ball up the floor. Someone that you want to play with."

Knowing his comments could be construed as a hint that he's willing to consider a partnership with Ball when he becomes a free agent, James made it clear he doesn't pay any attention to how his words are interpreted. 

"I don't see the reaction because I don't get involved in it," he said, per Ganguli. "I don't do it to get a reaction. I do it because [Lonzo's] said over and over since he was growing up who he modeled his game after. Who was his favorite player. It was me. I was humbled by that. Me wishing him happy birthday was kind of the salute back to him. I see all the stupid noise that happens. I can't buy a place in L.A. I can't live in L.A. It's funny noise. But I don't get involved in it. When I post things, I don't look at the comments. I'm so far removed from the white noise and the noise it doesn't matter." 

James also refused to disclose the contents of his brief postgame discussion with Ball shortly after the buzzer sounded. 

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"I didn't tell him anything," James told TNT's Kristen Ledlow after the win. "It's not for everybody. There's enough noise out there already with Zo and it's not for me to discuss. He has a bright future like I said the other day in my quotes."

James' action-packed evening against the Lakers came on the same day some light was shed on the big free-agent decision he's slated to make in July. 

Citing sources, ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst reported it's considered a "long shot" that James will commit to the Lakers following the 2017-18 season.