Hornets president Michael Jordan reveals his honest thoughts on LaMelo Ball’s rookie season so far
Rookie LaMelo Ball has eclipsed any expectations that the Charlotte Hornets had of him when they drafted him third overall in the 2020 draft. Ball’s play has garnered the attention of the NBA with his highlight-reel passes and an incredible ability to score. His play has even left Hornets owner and one of the best to ever to do it in Michael Jordan speechless.
“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. “He has exceeded our expectations so far this season.
Ball has been incredibly impressive in his first year, leading all rookies in points (15.8), assists (6.3), rebounds (6), and steals (1.6) per game. According to the online betting websites, he is also the clear runaway favorite to win NBA Rookie of the Year.
The youngster’s trajectory to getting the NBA has been a bit of a roller-coaster, but now that he’s fully planted in the NBA, he’s here to stay. LaMelo Ball was a former UCLA commit and a five-star recruit before choosing to forgo college basketball and deciding to take his talents to Australia. In the land down under, he played for the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League (NBA) where he won their Rookie of the Year trophy back in 2019.
LaMelo Ball’s Impact Felt With The Hornets
Ball was a highly touted prospect with his ability to find open players, create space, and an array of slick moves. The highlight-reel skills have brought some excitement and star potential to a franchise that has been left out of the national conversation for quite some time.
His impact with the Hornets has been immediate. He became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, which he did in just his 1oth game. He’s also led the Hornets to a 17-18 record entering the All-Star break, which is just a game behind the fourth-place Boston Celtics.
“Right now, with the way things look, he looks like NBA rookie of the year to me,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s getting it done statistically, their team is winning. He’s got energy, he’s got a vibe, he’s got swagger. If you like watching players that play with flair, he’s right up there.”
At 19 years old, there is no telling what his ceiling is. In 15 starts this year, he’s averaging 20.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists, winning the NBA rookie of the month twice. LaMelo looks like he’s here to stay and Michael Jordan and the Hornets seem to have found themselves a superstar.