LaMelo Ball may have been the 3rd pick in the NBA draft to the Charlotte Hornets, but in terms of clout and media attention, he is number 1. LaMelo is the youngest son of the unpredictable, uncontrollable, outspoken media personality Lavar Ball. LaMelo’s older brothers, Lonzo and LiAngelo, have both made it to the NBA, but LaMelo has had the highest expectations and talent in the game. The journey involved dropping out of high school, reality TV shows, an international club team in Lithuania, back to the USA to play with SPIRE Institute in Ohio, one year with Illawarra Hawks, with Australia’s National Basketball League to finally getting drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 3rd pick of the draft.
The Hornets went 1-3 in their 4 preseason games, with LaMelo part of the bench mob. The first observation of LaMelo is his basketball IQ and passes that are both flashy and effective. Every game LaMelo found a way to get himself into the daily top plays with an assist. Like Lonzo, LaMelo’s high basketball IQ is what separates him from other players as he seems to always see plays before they happen.
LaMelo’s shooting, like Lonzo, is as inconsistent as it can get. Whether it be his shooting form, shot selections, or the team that they are playing, there seems no way to predict what type of shooting night he will have. LaMelo went scoreless his 1st game against the Raptors, then followed it with 12 points the second game. Game 3 vs the Magic, in the Hornets only win, LaMelo had 18 points leading all bench scorers shooting 4-9 from the three-point range. Game 4 vs the Magic was the complete opposite, as LaMelo finished with 4 points shooting 1-10 from the field.
In terms of “overreaction”, everything that LaMelo has done in 4 games has been under a magnifying glass. The criticism that LaMelo has been getting has been as inconsistent as his shooting. LaMelo’s ceiling, expectation, and pressure of becoming the franchise player for the Hornets will be a hot topic throughout the season. Luckily for LaMelo, he has been under the media glass since a young age so all this overreaction may not faze him at all and is just another day.
The Hornets’ first regular season game with be versus the Cavaliers Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020. Once the season starts, questions will begin to get answers. The Hornets may not be starting LaMelo, but he already seems to be main source of offense when he is on the floor. Another reason for overreaction is Lavar Ball, it will be interesting to see if he becomes as involved as he did with Lonzo and the Lakers.
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Featured Image: Steve Reed/ Associated Press
Image: Chris Carlson/ Associated Press