After failing to earn a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference in the 2018-19 NBA season, former No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball became part of the trade package that the Los Angeles Lakers sent to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire All-Star big man Anthony Davis. Some people were saddened by Ball’s departure from Los Angeles, especially those who believed that he would be the point guard that would help LeBron James win his fourth NBA championship.
Unfortunately, the outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season proved that James needs help from another legitimate NBA superstar like Davis in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Los Angeles. But despite how things turned out in their first season of playing together, Ball has nothing but gratitude toward LeBron. In a recent appearance on Fearless Leadership with Rick Croy Podcast, which is currently posted on Twitter, Ball called James as the “person who’s mentored me the most” during his final season with the Lakers.
“The person who’s mentored me the most in the last year is probably LeBron,” Ball said, as quoted by CBS Sports. “Just being with him pretty much the whole year: same team, same bus, same hotel. I was just always with him and just picking up what I can from the greatest to ever play.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 20, 2019
Aside from being a great basketball mentor, LeBron James also became a good friend to Lonzo Ball off the court. During the lone season they played together, James didn’t think twice before reaching out to Ball whenever he faces some issues. As ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne revealed in the Hoop Collective Podcast, James and Ball formed a stronger bond when LeBron helped the young point guard overcome his problem with his father LaVar’s company, Big Baller Brand.
“From what I’ve heard, ever since this happened with Lonzo and firing of [co-founder] Alan Foster and the destruction or whatever is going to be left of Big Baller Brand, I have heard that LeBron has really reached out to Lonzo and they’ve gotten much closer throughout this. He’s really tried to help him through this.”
Lonzo Ball may no longer be on the same team with LeBron James, but he definitely knows that the Lakers superstar is just a call away if he needs advice or a friend. As of now, though Big Baller Brand has already parted ways with Foster, Lonzo is apparently not on good terms with his outspoken father, who called him “damaged goods” in the most recent episode of Ball in the Family.