LaMelo Ball is already playing like a savvy veteran. Apparently, he’s approaching big games like on too.
For NBA rookies, that first season is just a progression of firsts. Your first home game. Your first road trip. Your first time playing in the 29 other NBA arenas. Your first win, your first loss. Maybe your first 20-point game, double-double or game-winning shot. And certainly, your first up-close and personal look at the various NBA stars you’ve only seen on television.
Many NBA rookies may be a little starstruck taking the court against a player they’ve looked up to, someone like LeBron James who has been the best player in the league since they were in elementary school. But LaMelo Ball seems to have the right attitude, taking his upcoming first game against LeBron and the Lakers with a cool indifference.
What did LaMelo Ball say about his first game against LeBron James?
In a recent media availability, Ball played it cool on the topic of his first career game against LeBron. Asked if he was excited, Ball responded (h/t ESPN):
“I mean, nah. I grew up a little different. Not really on basketball like that. So, not really. I go to every game with the same approach — going in to try to get a win.”
Asked about personal heroes in a follow-up question, Ball pointed off the court.
“It was my pops. So, I was big on family and stuff like that. Not really with the basketball.”
Ball has had some big games against the toughest competition this season. The first 20-point game of his career was a 22-point, 8-rebound, 5-assist explosion in a 19-point win over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. He put up 27 points and 9 assists in a 12-point win over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. If that pattern holds, Ball rising to the level of the competition, he may just drop 40 on the GOAT and his Lakers.