Lonzo: 'I didn't live up to' draft hype with Lakers
Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

Lonzo Ball isn't afraid to critique his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The New Orleans Pelicans guard - selected second overall in the 2017 draft behind Markelle Fultz - admitted that while he wasn't bothered by playing under the spotlight in his hometown, he was unable to live up to the hype with his first NBA franchise.

"Nah, that wasn't too much pressure," Ball told The Athletic's Shams Charania. "That's what I was supposed to do. No. 2 pick, you're supposed to do a job - you're supposed to turn the franchise around. And I don't think I did it to the best of my abilities. I didn't live up to that standard. Now I'm here and I'm blessed to be here.

"These are two totally different situations. It didn't go the way we wanted to the first year in L.A., then LeBron (James) came, all the injuries happened and that really messed up the second year."

Ball's potential out of college was well-touted - not the least by his father, LaVar - and the UCLA product made headlines after only his second game in the Association when he finished one assist shy of a 29-point triple-double. However, he struggled to replicate that kind of output consistently in his rookie season and missed significant time with shoulder and knee concerns.

Injuries then cost Ball 35 games of his sophomore 2018-19 season after a severe sprain also tore ligaments in his left ankle.

The Lakers sent him to the Pelicans this summer in a blockbuster swap to acquire Anthony Davis. Ball feels the move was necessary to progress his career.

"It was only a matter of time before a trade happened," the 21-year-old said. "I pretty much knew a trade would happen. Any time you have a player like Anthony Davis available, I knew it was going to be my time. I was looking forward to it and I was excited for a new start. Getting out of L.A. for the first time in my life. I'm happy about it.

"It was just time for a change. I got hurt both years and didn't do what I wanted to do. I was blessed to stay home and play in front of everybody, but it wasn’t working over there."

The Pelicans host the Lakers on Nov. 27.

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Lonzo: 'I didn't live up to' draft hype with Lakers
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