LaVar Ball made headlines last week when he once again expressed frustration over the fact that LaMelo Ball wasn’t starting for the Charlotte Hornets. He did not mince words while describing his unhappiness.
In a conversation with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Hornets coach James Borrego explained in great detail why LaMelo wasn’t in the starting lineup.
“If you’re turning the ball over five times in 16 minutes, that ain’t gonna cut it for me,” Borrego said, referencing the youngster’s Saturday performance against the Chicago Bulls.
“If you’re doing that on the offensive end, you better be bringing something defensively.”
Ball played just 17 minutes in that outing.
The message Borrego is sending to both LaMelo and his father is clear: starting jobs are earned, not lobbied for.
Much like Lonzo Ball’s head coaches before him, he refuses to bend to the will of an over-involved father.
To be clear – LaMelo is having a perfectly good rookie campaign. Sometimes he plays stellar basketball, other times he stinks it up. It’s all very normal for a young player in the league, and precisely why he isn’t currently starting ahead of established veterans like Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier.
Late last week, LaVar appeared on TMZ and described his irritation with LaMelo not starting. He also suggested that his son wasn’t happy with the situation either.
Now we know what motivates Gronk to play so hard. https://t.co/xFnKnjoXQ4
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 24, 2021
“My thing is he ain’t happy with that, but he ain’t go show that,” he said.
“If I train you to be the best and always been starting all your life — here is what they don’t get. My boys are not freakin’ role players. They superstars. Let them do what they do. But, if your mentality ain’t like that, guess what? It’s hard to coach my boys and tap into the best because you don’t have a killer mindset.”
LaMelo is averaging 11.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 24.8 minutes per game off the bench. Earlier this year he made history and even earned LeBron James’ praise. Aside from one weird physical altercation with teammate Bismack Biyombo, he is having a great season.
But his dad needs to cool it with the chatter in the background. Particularly when he says he is speaking for LaMelo. It disrupts team chemistry and creates a lot of headaches that simply don’t need to exist.
LaMelo’s time to start will come eventually. It just isn’t here yet.
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