LaMelo Ball came into the NBA with a ton of hype. The noise surrounding him coupled with the lack of tape available to assess his game led to many dismissing him as “overrated.”
Now, with 35 games in the books, it’s safe to say that if anything, he came into the league underrated.
After spending his first 20 games with the Charlotte Hornets riding the bench, Ball finally received the starting nod. In the 15 games since, he is averaging 20.6 points, 6.6 assists and 6.2 rebounds per outing.
This week, Hornets owner Michael Jordan, who famously had some very strong feelings regarding drafting Ball to begin with, offered his take on how the youngster has developed thus far.
“I think Melo has adjusted to the NBA game better than any of us ever thought this early in his career,” Jordan told The Associated Press, via the Denver Post. “He has exceeded our expectations so far this season.”
Not only does Ball have the Hornets at 17-18 on the year, tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference, he has also set records this season that have even caught LeBron James’ eye.
Beyond that, he has earned strong responses from the likes of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers.
Ball is currently on pace to join Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Ben Simmons and Michael Carter-Williams as the only players to ever average at least 15 points, six rebounds and six assists per game in their rookie seasons.
LaMelo has found a nifty trick for picking up Instagram models. https://t.co/4y9uyWxlAe
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 25, 2021
When you factor in that Ball is only 19 years old and that he’s done the impossible, impress the perpetually unimpressed Michael Jordan, it’s safe to say that the sky is the limit for this youngster.
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