John Wall saw this coming from a mile away ... telling us back in Feb. that NBA players like Patrick Beverley are gonna come for Lonzo Ball all season long to "leave a statement."
He was right.
Back when LaVar Ball was first firing up the Lonzo-hype machine, we spoke with Wall about how LaVar's braggadocious statements could affect the Lakers rookie on the court.
Wall told us LaVar's comments would add "fuel to the fire" for Lonzo's opponents, explaining:
"A lot of people try to leave a statement, you know let 'em know how the league is ... especially if they're gonna be going against him for the next couple years."
Beverley was DEFINITELY trying to send a message Thursday night -- beating up on Lonzo the entire game in a dominating Clippers victory.
And it sounds like it ain't gonna get easier for Ball as the season moves along ...