Stephen A. Smith implies that LaMelo Ball should be a bit more respectful of LeBron James - Lakers Daily

Stephen A. Smith implies that LaMelo Ball should be a bit more respectful of LeBron James

LaMelo Ball and LeBron James Getty Images

The other day, Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball said that he’s not all that excited about facing LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time on Thursday.

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith feels that Ball may be disrespecting James a bit and that James should care about what Ball said.

“Where I say LeBron should be a little turned off by this is the level of deference and respect that you are supposed to be to somebody perceived to be the king, who by the way, is the king right now. He’s the reigning, defending NBA champion,” said Smith.

James may not have won a regular season MVP award in several years, but most still consider him to be the best basketball player in the world at the end of the day.

He’s certainly one of the leading candidates for this season’s MVP award, as he’s averaging 25.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game as he’s keeping the Lakers near the top of the standings even without Anthony Davis.

Ball, meanwhile, is the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award. He’s putting up 15.7 points, 5.9 boards and 6.2 dimes a game while making the Hornets a playoff-caliber team.

Ball may not have meant any disrespect by his comments about James, but he may be in for a rude awakening tonight when he realizes that playing the defending champs isn’t just another game.