The Charlotte Hornets are still one of the bigger surprises in the NBA. Arguably the biggest reason why has been the play of standout sophomore LaMelo Ball. TNT’s NBA Tip Off host Shaquille O’Neal interviewed Ball Tuesday night. Shaq pointed out he once asked Penny Hardaway who he patterned his game after. So, he inquired the same thing to Ball.
Ball gave a very surprising answer.
LaMelo says Jamal Crawford, Penny Hardaway and video games inspired his game. pic.twitter.com/vLelt9h5Xg
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 2, 2022
Interestingly enough, the Hornets star guard mentioned Hardaway as one of the guys he patterned himself off, as well as Jamal Crawford. He talked about watching Crawford play a lot. But he said that it was primarily video games. He would see what players would do in the video game, and go out and try to replicate it on the court.
Shortly afterwards, Crawford took to Twitter to share a cool thought, prompting a retweet from Ball.
— Melo (@MELOD1P) February 2, 2022
Crawford tweeted talking about how he watched Hardaway as a child, then Ball watched him as a child. Now Crawford’s son is watching Ball play.
Ball has certainly taken his game to a new level in his sophomore season. He is averaging 19.5 points, and over seven assists and seven rebounds per game. He has become one of the better all-around players in the NBA. His play this year got him nominated to the NBA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend.
The Hornets are 28-23 this season, sitting in 7th place in the Eastern Conference. However, they are only 4.5 games out of the top spot in the east. If Ball continues to dominate like this, and Miles Bridges continues his ascension, the sky is the limit for Charlotte.