"I would say it takes pressure off of me and the rest of the young guys,” Ball said. "Obviously you have LeBron, the best player in the world, all the attention’s on him. A lot of the wins and losses are targeted towards him. I know he’s dealt with that his whole career so he’s fine with it. But myself, it’s taken the spotlight off a little bit, just making things a little easier for me."
The pressure has been on Ball ever since he joined UCLA in 2016. He's received plenty of attention in part because of his loquacious father, LaVar, who started the Big Baller Brand and appeared on seemingly every sports television show for a year-long period. Ball even has his own page on the USA Today website (Lonzo Wire).
Ball was the focal point on a young Lakers team last season and felt immense pressure to improve a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 2013.
That being said, James is one of a few NBA players who can say they have felt more pressure than Ball given his national status ever since he was in high school. His expectations were to be one of the best players in the history of the game, which is hard for anyone to handle.
James has met those challenges head-on, but he still makes news nearly every time he talks. He does an excellent job handling that attention, which has helped turn the spotlight away from Ball more this year.
The 19-14 Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday.