Lakers’ Lonzo Ball views triple-double praise from LeBron James as ‘motivation’ to improve
By Bill Oram
PHOENIX — For more than 12 years, LeBron James held the record for youngest player to achieve a triple-double. When Lonzo Ball finally eclipsed the mark by five days on Saturday, the four-time Most Valuable Player was nothing short of impressed.
“First of all, congratulations to him,” James told reporters Monday morning in New York. “I think he’s going to be a really, really good point guard in our league. Probably a great point guard if he continues to work on his craft, which it seems like he does. They got a good one.”
When word of the compliment reached Ball following shootaround in Phoenix, he said it gave him “motivation” to continue to improve.
“If he says that it’s like an honor,” Ball said. “So I’m going to work and keep trying to get better every day.”
In a 98-90 loss to Milwaukee, Ball finished with 19 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. On Monday, the Lakers corrected his numbers to reflect that the official box score from Saturday originally shorted Ball a rebound and gave him an extra block.
James has long been linked to the Lakers as a free agent target in 2018, and him showering Ball with praise will only fuel those rumors. On Ball’s 20th birthday last month, James tweeted birthday wishes to “the young King.”
Ball learning of James’ comments well after the fact was consistent for the rookie sensation. Not until a Lakers media relations executive informed him Monday morning did Ball know that President Trump had urged the president of China to assist in expediting the release of three UCLA basketball players facing shoplifting allegations, a group that includes LiAngelo Ball.
Lonzo Ball said he avoids social media and has disabled push notifications on his phone, allowing him to avoid much of the news […]