'It was a dream come true for me' – Ball on playing with LeBron
Lonzo Ball enjoyed playing with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, describing it as a "dream come true".
James arrived from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018-19 season and averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists during his debut campaign in Los Angeles.
The three-time NBA champion, however, was unable to end the Lakers' playoff drought, with the 34-year-old missing the postseason for the first time since 2005.
Lakers guard Ball was asked about sharing the court with James during a news conference on Wednesday.
"It was a dream come true for me," Ball said. "Watching him my whole life, it was everything I thought it would be.
"He's not only a great basketball player but a great person. I looked at him like a big brother."
“It was a dream come true for me. … Watching him my whole life, it was everything I thought it would be.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2019
"He’s not only a great basketball player but a great person. I looked at him like a big brother.“ - @ZO2_ on @KingJamespic.twitter.com/i02qlhYGVY
Los Angeles began the season with a 20-14 record before James suffered a strained groin on Christmas Day.
James missed the next 17 games and the team never recovered. He was eventually shut down in late March.
The Lakers also dealt with injuries to key role players, including Ball – who sprained his ankle in late January and never returned to the court.
"Obviously it's been a long process," Ball added. "It's finally starting to show some great progress, coming along. Hopefully just a few more weeks and then I can go out there."
Lakers president Magic Johnson stunningly announced he was resigning from his position on Tuesday before the team's final game of the season.
"It shocked me, like it did the rest of the world," Ball said. "It's what's best for him. I wish him the best. He drafted me, and this is better for his life. This is what he wants to do, and I'm behind him 100 per cent."
Ball finished the season averaging 9.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 47 appearances. He shot 40.6 per cent from the field and 32.9 per cent from three-point range.
The Lakers originally selected Ball out of UCLA with the second pick in the 2017 draft.