It didn't take long for LaMelo Ball to make his presence felt on the NBA stage. In just his first pre-season game with the Charlotte Hornets, the youngest of the Ball brothers showed flashes of potential into becoming a future star–at least that's what Jamal Crawford thinks.
LaMelo will be a star. He has that "IT" factor.
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) December 13, 2020
Quite the high praise from a well-respected 19-year pro and three time sixth-man of the year.
Does Jamal Crawford's claim have validity?
Even though LaMelo Ball finished Saturday's game scoreless, he grabbed 10 rebounds and added four brilliant assists in only 16 minutes of playing time–one of which was an incredible behind-the-back pass to Hornets teammate Miles Bridges.
Beyond the stats, when LaMelo was on the floor, the offense was buzzing (pun intended). He had a great grasp of what it's like to run an NBA offense on day one. Pace did not seem to be an issue for the young Ball because of his pro-season in Australia. He pushed the ball in transition and seemed to fit right in with the Hornets.
While it's not certain he'll be a star, it's easy to get carried away with a solid debut. However, one preseason game is not enough to determine whether or not Ball will be a successful pro.
With that being said, it's definitely a positive that Ball looks comfortable and ready to contribute from the get go for the Hornets. He has all of the physical tools needed to excel at the point guard position and it seems like his feel for the game is even more advanced than speculated.
LaMelo will have the spotlight on him all season, even though he's with the Hornets. Let's hope Crawford's hunch is right.