It is rarely boring in the Ball family. The head of the house, LaVar, often jumps out with his incredible statements, like the one in which he would defeat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one game. With such an approach, LaVar probably did more harm than good to his three sons, especially the youngest and obviously most talented – LaMelo. Even before he stepped onto the NBA floors, LaMelo did not gain much sympathy (mostly because of his father) from the NBA world.
Besides, he did not, like his peers, opt for college basketball, and after graduating from high school, he sailed towards professional waters, into the ranks of the Illawarra Hawks. However, the youngest Ball quickly caught the strings of the game once he entered the NBA league. He showed an incredible ability to score points as well as an enviable court vision. The most appealing part of LaMelo’s game is those unexpected behind-the-back assists to his teammates.
LaMelo is a leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award, as he leads in most categories, including (15.8) points, rebounds (6), assists (6.3), and steals (1.6). He’s shooting 44.1% from the field, 35.3% from behind the arc, and 80.6% from the free-throw line. With the help of their star rookie, the Charlotte Hornets are having a surprisingly good season. So we can say with certainty that Michael Jordan did not make a mistake when he decided to take LaMelo from third place in last year’s draft. Although he has a reputation for not being the most resourceful team owner, MJ hit it off this time.
“I think Melo has adjusted to the NBA game better than any of us ever thought this early in his career. He has exceeded our expectations so far this season.”Michael Jordan, via AP News
The Hornets are currently on a 17-18 record and hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference. For example, last season, the Hornets recorded just 23 wins throughout the season. But more than that, Jordan has a player in his locker room who attracts attention with outstanding displays.
LaMelo’s game certainly has holes in it, especially when it comes to taking care of the ball. LaMelo has the height and fast hands to be a decent defender, but he is recording 2.8 turnovers per game. Despite that, the youngest Ball is exceeding everybody’s expectations (except his father’s).
LaMelo has shown that he deservedly belongs in the NBA league, and it will be interesting to observe how his NBA career will develop.