Lonzo Ball admits to falling short of the standards a No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft needs to live up to.
“It wasn’t working over there,” says the 21-year-old of his two disappointing seasons with the Lakers.
‘Zo is happy to be away from the bright lights and pressure of Los Angeles, and looks forward to a fresh start with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Per The Athletic:
“Nah, nah, that wasn’t too much pressure,” Ball told The Athletic. “That’s what I was supposed to do. No. 2 pick, you’re supposed to do a job — you’re supposed to turn the franchise around. And I don’t think I did it to the best of my abilities. I didn’t live up to that standard. Now I’m here and I’m blessed to be here.
“These are two totally different situations. It didn’t go the way we wanted to the first year in L.A., then LeBron (James) came, all the injuries happened and that really messed up the second year. Here, we have Zion (Williamson), Jrue (Holiday), JJ (Redick), D. Fav (Derrick Favors), all the guys that came with me in B.I. (Brandon Ingram) and J. (Josh) Hart, so we have a lot of guys that can play. I’m trying to do my part.”
For Ball, the exit from L.A. appeared only a question of when — not if.
“It was only a matter of time before a trade happened,” he said. “I pretty much knew a trade would happen. Any time you have a player like Anthony Davis available, I knew it was going to be my time. I was looking forward to it and I was excited for a new start. Getting out of L.A. for the first time in my life. I’m happy about it.
“It was just time for a change. I got hurt both years and didn’t do what I wanted to do. I was blessed to stay home and play in front of everybody, but it wasn’t working over there.”