Even before he entered the NBA, there was already a lot of hype surrounding Lonzo Ball, especially with all the attention his father got for him. That resulted to him getting tested early on by his defenders, as well as some of his teammates, who want to make sure if he belongs to play in the league.

One player who also went through the same experience is New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis. Playing for a big market team as well, he was infamously booed when drafted, but proved all his doubters wrong by playing impressive basketball in his rookie season. Now that he’s in his third year in the NBA, he recently spoke about Ball’s situation, and said that he can relate to him. He then added, via Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, that he wasn’t bothered by all the criticism and tests, as he only wanted to show everyone he is the real deal.

“I definitely felt that guys were testing me early on,” Porzingis said. “Even in practice, me and (teammate Lance Thomas) were going to at it. He wanted to see if I was tough enough and if I could play in the league. In Puerto Rico, in Melo's camp (before my rookie season), things like that. Guys want to test me, especially a European coming into the league.

“And for (Lonzo), it's also more like the toughest position in the NBA is the point guard. Being the starting point guard every night having to play against a great point guard, it's tough. A lot of guys don't like the hype he's getting for nothing. And that's why they're going after him.”

“I wasn't bothered by the boos at all when I got drafted. I was happy. For everybody it's different. I think that's a good quality that I have that I don't really give a s-t.”

Although he has struggled with scoring and shooting efficiently, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie has made up for it with his ability to rebound the ball, and set up his teammates for easy baskets. There are still some facets of his game that need further improvement, but Ball is going through the process and appears to be ready to make some progress.

Porzingis’ comments go to show that it is normal to be tested upon entering the league, especially if there’s a lot of expectations on a player. Ball could definitely see it as motivation, and remain positive that he can also be successful in the league, just like how the Latvian international has done in his career so far.