By: Jacob Rude | 21 minutes ago
Few people on the Lakers, if any, know the pressures of playing in Los Angeles and for a storied franchise like the Lakers better than Lonzo Ball. A Southern California-native, Ball grew up amidst a Lakers dynasty and multiple title runs.
As a result, Ball knows of the demands of Laker fans. As one of those storied franchises, the Lakers are expected to win titles, not simply be competitors. After years of rebuilding and the worst stretch in the franchise’s history, the signing of LeBron James thrust the purple and gold back into the title picture.
In a recent New York Times article by Scott Cacciola, Ball talked about the pressure of winning in Los Angeles and how quickly fans can turn on a superstar.
“Everybody’s watching him and expecting him to pretty much bring us a championship and all these great things. But he needs a supporting cast.”
“I’m from here, so I know how it is playing in L.A. If you’re winning, they love you. If not, they’ll find someone else to do the job.”
Fans can be a fickle group and especially ones spoiled by years of winning. There are plenty of examples of the good with superstars delivering the expected titles from Magic Johnson to Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The list of failed superstars is shorter with the most recent being Dwight Howard, a name that still prompts visceral reactions from Laker fans. After one disappointing season in Los Angeles, some of which could be attributed to him but all of which is heaped upon him.
James likely won’t take the brunt of the blame should things go awry in Los Angeles but he certainly wouldn’t be a name that is spoken in the same vein as the Magics, Shaqs and Kareems. Only time will tell what level he will ascend to.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News