Chris Broussard on Lonzo Ball: The pressure comes from his dad LaVar running his mouth

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Looking ahead to tonight's matchup between the the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks, Lonzo Ball is listed as questionable. Chris Broussard reveals to Danny Kanell why many believe there is no pressure on the controversial rookie on the court, but rather the pressure stems from ancillary forces like his dad LaVar 'running his mouth' which constantly threatens to derail his son's mental state, and in turn, possibly his career.

- I don't really feel there's pressure on him-- real pressure. Like, for him, he's playing well as a rookie. As a rookie. You know, he's gotten better every month.

People were down on him early because the expectations were so high, because of his dad and some of the things Magic Johnson said at the opening press conference. But, you know, basically averaging about 10, 11 points a game, seven assists, seven rebounds. That's very good. He's a rookie.

Real basketball people, I think, look at him and just say, there's no pressure on him. Let him continue to improve throughout his rookie season. And that's that.

The problem-- where the pressure comes in is all the external forces. His dad. LaVar running his mouth, making these huge statements, like he can make LeBron better, and LeBron's definitely coming, and all that, that puts pressure on you.

Because, again, he wasn't playing that badly early on. He wasn't playing worse than a lot of rookies that you didn't hear about. Guys that even picked the head of him or right around-- in the lottery, high lottery-- Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox-- nobody was killing them, saying they were a bust. Because their dads weren't making these outlandish statements. So that puts pressure on him.

Secondly, the Lakers were playing great basketball without him.

MAN: Mm-hmm.

- Their best stretch of the season was in January when he was out. That puts a little pressure, like, OK, when he comes back, will they play as well with him?

And then, thirdly, Isaiah Thomas. Isaiah believes he should be starting either next to Lonzo or instead of Lonzo. [LAUGHS] And that is going to put pressure-- having a guy there who wants to come in, put up big numbers, feels like he's better than you, is looking to get a big contract, this is gonna test Lonzo's mettle as far as his leadership of that team, as far as his mental toughness.

I mean, Isaiah's brash. And he's gonna say stuff. And he's gonna challenge you, whether it's in practice or just in the game. If he's playing a lot better than you, he may say something. So we're gonna see, you know, what Lonzo's made of mentally and emotionally. That's where all the pressure--

MAN: Yep.