LaMelo Ball confirmed that the hype about him was real this week when he led his Charlotte Hornets to a memorable 123-122 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Ball finished with a monster line of 31 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals.
Almost as impressive as what he did on the court that day was what he said off of it.
When pressed on his future with the Hornets, Ball offered a very mature response.
“I feel like I still kind of got that mentality that they had back in the day,” Ball told Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “Even with the switching teams and stuff, they never used to do that. You go to one team, you stay there.”
Ball would go on to emphasize this idea of staying the course once more.
“You supposed to just go to a team and build from there — I feel like that’s how it should be,” he continued. “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.”
It’s hard to ignore the subtext there. Both LeBron James and Kevin Durant left situations where they were the main guy for ones where they could play with future Hall of Famers. The latter did it with the Golden State Warriors, the former with the Miami Heat. Both decisions resulted in them winning championships.
But at what cost?
That’s one way to dress to a baseball game. https://t.co/oeBgEan8bD
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 22, 2021
It will be interesting to see if Ball ultimately sticks by the principle he is currently espousing. Once upon a time Damian Lillard said something similar – and now folks are expecting him to be a member of the Boston Celtics by Christmas.
That said, if Ball does stick to his beliefs in that regard and enjoys a decent amount of success in Charlotte – he could go down as an all-time great.