Lonzo Ball: Something Different this Way Comes

He is not yet 21 and his sophomore season in the NBA is still months away. The fanfare of being a No. 2 overall pick along with inherent expectations have faded to some extent. And while Lonzo Ball is not exactly the forgotten man, the arrival of a mythical storm god promises to send him on a journey into the unknown.

Ball played just 52 games during his rookie campaign, ultimately sidelined by a balky knee that led to arthroscopic surgery. He is the son of a famously domineering father and is now the father of his own child—daughter Zoey Christina was born to Zo and girlfriend Denise Garcia on July 22. That’s plenty to absorb for anyone’s personal story but the Los Angeles Lakers’ triumphant acquisition of LeBron James gobbled up media space on a quantitatively larger scale. If you want to pile more on the plate, consider the signing of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo—an NBA champion, four-time All-Star and three-time assists leader who could challenge Ball for playing time and a starting position.

Life’s pressures will only build further for Ball, both on and off the court. James may have shown some prescience all the way back in December when he took the rookie aside after a game.