LaMelo Ball has quickly adjusted to the NBA life. Fresh from winning Rookie of the Year last season, Ball has already shown maturity and expressed interest in having a players' mindset from guys playing during the Michael Jordan era.
LaMelo Ball on players forcing a trade
The Charlotte Hornets drafted Ball with their 3rd overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. It was a gamble at that time as no one knew if Melo could replicate his success in international leagues to the NBA. It turned out he was as good as advertised. Ball was used to the extra attention and fame, having LaVar Ball as father and LiAngelo and Lonzo Ball as brothers. However, despite playing only one year in the NBA, the maturity he has shown is beyond his age. Ball claims he has an old-school mindset, like players from his MJ era. The Hornets owner obviously has a significant impact on LaMelo, as he talked about this in an interview with Joe Vardon, published for The Athletic.
"I feel like I still kind of got that mentality that they had back in the day. Even with the switching teams and stuff, they never used to do that. You go to one team, you stay there. You supposed to just go to a team and build from there — I feel like that's how it should be. Especially when you like a high pick too, most likely going to a team that wasn't as good, so you try to make them better. I feel like that's the whole process right there."
LaMelo Ball, The Athletic
Having the Greatest of All-Time as team owner certainly helps Ball push the right buttons when it comes to his decisions. Last season, it was predicted he would sit a lot longer due to a broken wrist, but he came back earlier than expected. In the era of load management and resting players, Ball has adopted old school mentality to play if able and play through the pain.
In the era where superstars ink max deals then force their way out of the team, Ball remains adamant in his belief that a player is supposed to play for the team that drafted him. In the case of James Harden, who went to the Brooklyn Nets, and Ben Simmons, who is struggling to find his way out of Philadelphia, there were a lot of factors involved in their decision to walk away. Melo is still young, and he could eat his words someday if the situation calls for it, but the young star must be commended for thinking the right way.
Ball could lead Hornets' transition to contenders
LaMelo Ball has the height, shooting, quickness, and basketball IQ that a modern point guard needs to have. In his first year with Charlotte, he already got the fans excited with some gravity-defying highlights.
The 20-year-old rejuvenated the franchise that had been out of playoff discussions for several seasons now. With him having the right mindset and mentors such as MJ, Charlotte could become Eastern Conference contenders sooner than later.