The Charlotte Hornets are going to be one of the NBA’s most fascinating squads to watch for the next several years. Although they are obviously still a very long way away from truly competing in the East, rookie LaMelo Ball has already made them must-see TV.
Ball came into the league with a lot of hype. Given his father’s affinity for making headlines and his older brother’s mixed results at the pro level, many wondered whether the youngster would prove to be more style than substance.
It is already readily apparent that this is not the case.
Ball is everything he was projected to be – plus more.
This week, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry offered his honest impression of Ball.
“He’s playing amazing,” Curry told reporters this week, via Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “There was a lot of talk about what he could show his rookie year. He’s surprising a lot of people.”
For the year, Ball is currently averaging 14.6 points on 43.7 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc, along with 6.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. In the eight games that he has been permitted to start, Ball has averaged 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists per outing.
Klay knows how to do Valentine’s Day right. https://t.co/Gxt1gRLTX2
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 15, 2021
By any objective measure, Ball is currently the favorite to claim this season’s Rookie of the Year award.
To be clear, Ball’s season has not been without controversy. He famously got into a bizarre physical confrontation with a teammate, had his dad go off on his coach over playing time, and then watched his coach completely own his dad in response.
Now we know what motivates Steph to play so hard. https://t.co/LVXdFffc6b
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 13, 2021
Despite it all, the 19-year-old has consistently delivered where it matters most – on the basketball court. There’s a reason why he is already commanding so much credit from established names in the NBA. Curry wasn’t the only respected NBA brand name to shout Ball out. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has done something similar, as has Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers.
So long as Ball continues to develop and improve the way he looks like he’s going to, he’s going to be a superstar in the league sooner rather than later.