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Lonzo Ball says LeBron James told him to focus on basketball first and let other stuff take care of itself

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LeBron James has helped Lonzo Ball stay focused on basketball during their first season together on the Lakers.

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NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lonzo Ball got to live out a childhood dream this season by playing alongside LeBron James, who was Ball’s favorite player growing up, on his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.

Ball was five years old when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected James with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and last summer, Ball found out he was going to have the opportunity to play with the four-time league MVP.

During an appearance on “The House of Highlights Show” on Tuesday, Ball said he had an idea that James was coming, but was just as surprised as everyone else when the news dropped:

“I had a good feeling. I found on Twitter just like everybody else. And I just looked at my phone that was going crazy. Everybody was telling me I was teammates with LeBron. I looked up Woj and it was on there, and there it was.”

Since then, Ball and James have formed a close relationship, and Ball said he’s received invaluable advice from the three-time NBA champion on how to block out all of the noise on the court:

“He tells me ‘keep the main thing the main thing.’ He tells me that every day. Basically saying basketball is how you eat, how you feed your family and everything. As long as you put that first, everything’s going to work out. He tells me that every day.”

James has been consistent with that message throughout the season. When the Lakers were struggling to find their stride in the midst of a playoff run in February, James told reporters that basketball should be the primary focus of every one of his teammate’s lives (via Spectrum SportsNet):

“Basketball: if that’s not the most important thing, then why we doing this? Is this the most important thing in yo’ life at this time? You give it all to the game and if you feel like you’ve given your all to it, then you have nothing to look back on and you can do other things. But if you feel like you haven’t given as much as you can, then you can’t focus on anything else.”

Both Ball and James have their hobbies off of the court, but when it comes time to play, they take care of business. It’s safe to say that those of the types of guys both Ball and James will be recruiting to the Lakers this summer.

Is that Jimmy Butler’s music?

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Christian on Twitter at @RadRivas.