The Balls have gained popularity in the sport prior to entering the league because of the family’s outspoken patriarch, LaVar Ball. At first, Lonzo got most of our attention - that's when LaVar was at his peak form. But after seeing LaMelo in action, it's not difficult to figure out who has the highest potential.
LaMelo making waves
In his first two seasons in the league, Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball made waves through his flashy passes and ability to take it strong to the hole. The impressive showing was backed by numbers as he wound up logging an outstanding tally which only NBA Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson was able to do- 398 points, 156 rebounds, 150 assists, 39 steals, and 8 blocks in his first 20 games this past season.
While his stats resemble that of Johnson, LaMelo’s game could be compared to not just only one but an array of NBA legends. And for Hornets legend Muggsy Bouges, the youngster struck him as a combination of Jason Kidd and Penny Hardaway “in one package.”
“He sees the game from a point guard perspective,” Bouges said of LaMelo’s game via Fox Sports Radio’s “Straight Fire.” “He’s able to understand where his teammates want the basketball and how they can be successful with it and at the same time being able to create opportunities for himself. I kind of compare him to a little Jason Kidd and Penny Hardaway in one package. The vision of J-Kidd, the height and scoring ability of Penny.”
Recognized by the King
LaMelo entered the league as a 19-year-old, but he’s no longer a newbie in the game, having honed his skills in a pro league in Australia. So when he crossed paths with some of the best players in the league, including LeBron James, LaMelo did not fail to deliver. And the King recognized it.
According to James, LaMelo is already playing like a star but “he’s only getting better.”
“His speed, his quickness, his ability to make shots in the paint. Floaters, 3s, he has the 3 tier already, and he’s only going to get better,” James said of LaMelo.
Indeed, Bouges and James were right about their takes on LaMelo as the former Illawarra Hawks star has tremendously improved in just his second season in the league. From registering an already impressive 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game, LaMelo’s numbers spiked to 20.1 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per outing.
Will LaMelo be able to pick up where he left off in his third season with the Hornets? We’re about to find out.