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The reason LaMelo Ball got benched vs. Nets will have Hornets fans swelling with pride

LaMelo Ball Hornets Ish Smith

The Charlotte Hornets pulled off a shocker as they defeated the formidable Brooklyn Nets in their own home arena. But they surprisingly pulled it off without their franchise cornerstone in LaMelo Ball on the floor for the fourth quarter.

LaMelo Ball was nowhere to be found in the final frame. However, the decision to bench him wasn’t because Hornets coach James Borrego kept him in the doghouse. Melo simply felt the team was playing better with backup Ish Smith in the game instead.

For a potentially all-world talent in LaMelo Ball to put his team ahead of himself should have Hornets fans shedding a collective tear out of pride. Melo wasn’t having an off night himself, either. He had 18 points, five rebounds, five assists on a decent 8-for-18 shooting clip. He could have been adamant to be reinserted, both because he was playing well and to add onto his numbers a bit more.

But the Hornets star made the tough call for his own coach, who stuck with Ish Smith. The decision paid off big time Charlotte outscored the Nets 32-17 in the fourth quarter to run away with the victory. Smith had 15 points in the contest a scoring 11 of them in the fourth quarter after being held scoreless until the game’s final 14 minutes.

The selflessness displayed by LaMelo Ball and the rest of the team is a huge reason why the Hornets are a perfect 3-0 to start the season. If they continue to put the team first, the success is sure to follow.