LaMelo Ball's season did not go according to plan to say the least. He only appeared in 22 games in the 2023-24 season. In fact, in the last two years, Ball has only played in 58 games. Ankle issues have plagued his Charlotte Hornets career early on thus far.

Fortunately, Ball and the Hornets will hit the summer hard make sure he's healthy for the next season.

The current status of LaMelo Ball's ankle

Ball was asked how his ankle felt and how he thought the season went at Charlotte's exit interviews.

“Definitely not the type of season that we wanted to have, but ankle has been feeling better and it's the first time I'm getting a full offseason, so kind of happy about that,” Ball said.

In the 2022-23 season, the abrupt end made it hard for Ball to have a full offseason to take care of his body and his ankle. Since he is in a good spot entering the offseason, he will be able to workout more freely without having limited movements. He was cleared right before training camp last year for full contact drills. It's a whole different situation for him this year.

LaMelo Ball addresses the critics that think he doesn't love basketball

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball practices before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of negative comments hurled in Ball's direction about his dedication, love, and respect for the game. Some fans and even analyst alike feel like as if he might not be as serious about basketball because he doesn't play through injuries.

“My favorite thing to do is play basketball. Not being able to do it was obviously horrible,” Ball said. “Gonna take the summer get the ankle as strong as I could so I'm out there and could play.”

Miles Bridges backed up Ball in his dedication to the game of basketball. Being the longest tenured teammates of Ball, Bridges is a reliable source.

“Melo loves the game of basketball. He wouldn't want for anything but to play. He told me next year he wants to play 75 plus. Melo wants to be on the court,” Bridges said. “People think he doesn't want to be on the court. He just wants to wear his jewelry on the sideline. He knows how important he is to this organization and it's going to be a good summer for him.”

Rough stretch for the Hornets throughout 2023-24

LaMelo Ball was a huge lost for the bulk of this season, but that next man up mentality is the perfect way to summarize Charlotte's season. Mark Williams played in 19 games this year. Cody Martin appeared in 28 of them. Heck even Seth Curry missed a bulk of his stint with Charlotte after being traded there before the deadline. Even Leaky Black mentioned that Charlotte has a thing for injuries unfortunately.

It's been a rough year. With a full offseason and guys missing most of that time early in the season, the offseason should be one of the more important ones in the last few years. Getting as healthy as possible and finding even more continuity as team.