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The pressure is still on Lonzo Ball, sort of



Lakers President Magic Johson told Lonzo Ball during exit interviews this week that he needs to get stronger physically after the 20 year-old rookie missed 30 games this season due to injury. Johnson also told Ball that this summer will be the biggest summer of his life. 


Ball doesn’t exactly quiver and shake. He’s grown accustomed to the media spotlight and it doesn’t seem to phase him-at least not publicly.

“He pretty much does what he does and I do what I do,” Ball told assembled media Thursday when asked for about the 400th time in the last year about if his father’s outlandish comments serve as a distraction.

He added, “First year was all me and it is done now and on to the next one.”

In 52 games this season, Lonzo averaged 34.2 minutes, 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 5.6 rebounds.

The tendency it seems would be to make Lonzo something he is not-or has not been thus far-an offensive powerhouse. He scored 29 points in his second game of his career, but did not reach 20 or more again until December which was his final 20 point or more game of the year. His 7.2. assists per game though would have put him in the top 1o in the NBA had he qualified for that statistically category by playing in 70-percent or more of his team’s games.

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So there is pressure, but for pressure to really matter it has to mean something. And at this point in his career and life, Ball just seems to be enjoying the ride and simply isn’t worried about the Ball family media circus or just about anything else.

The Lakers for their part aren’t building the team around their No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft, but will consider him a piece of the puzzle.

Magic Johnson appears to have the family dynamic figured out-at least to some degree. And the elder LaVar Ball either was less vocal or fewer cameras and guys with iPhones recording soundbites followed him around.

“I think he understands that what his dad says is what his dad says. He’s just got to go out and play,” Johnson told CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave .

“And I think his dad has figured out that, ‘Hey, maybe I got to take a back seat and let my son just go out and do his thing,’ because the more his father says crazy things, see, he’s got to go out and try to live up to that, right?”


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