Lonzo Ball says Lakers players have stepped up since the arrival of LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers

Many people are expecting big things from the Los Angeles Lakers this season thanks to the arrival of LeBron James this summer through free agency.

LeBron's arrival in Los Angeles has transformed the Lakers into a team struggling to make the playoffs, to a team many believe will be one of the best in the Western Conference next season.

James has not only brought an influx of veterans to the franchise as well, but it also sends out a warning to the promising youth at the team already that they will be easily replaced if they don't raise their game.

As a result, a new attitude has rolled into the Lakers, as Lonzo Ball explained in a recent interview that players that were already at the team before LeBron's arrival have accepted the challenge and are practicing hard.

Ball told Elex Michaelson of Good Day L.A, via Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen & Roll: “I ran into him two times, but any time a player like that comes to the team obviously it’s going to spark something for sure.

"Guys have been in there working extra hard for him, and for themselves as well. We think we can do something big this year.”

As for playing alongside James at the Lakers in the near future, Ball has said he is very excited.

He said: “I’m happy I get to play with him. I’m trying to get healthy and get back on the court.”

LeBron James and Lonzo Ball will be teammates at the Lakers this season

Expectations are high for the James, Ball, and the Lakers next season, as many expect them to at least return to the playoffs in 2018-19 for the first time in five seasons. 

Some even believe that this Lakers team can go even further than that and reach the Western Conference Finals despite how competitive the conference has become over the past year.

In order to achieve such a high aim though, they will need to produce the work ethic to get there, something which LeBron has shown in each of the past eight seasons in the league, as he has been to the Finals each year during that period.

The young Lakers core will have to buy into James' mentality if they are to have any hopes of extending his Finals run to nine series this season.

The Lakers will kick off their season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on October 18.

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

News Now - Sport News