LaMelo Ball Will Be a Better Player than Kemba Walker
LaMelo Ball has jumped out of the gate and is the early favorite for Rookie of the Year after being selected third overall.
Kemba Walker was selected by the Charlotte Hornets (Bobcats back then) number nine overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Walker devoted 8 years to the franchise and he was a three-time All-Star and had two playoff appearances in that span, which is pretty underwhelming, to tell the truth. In Walker’s defense, management failed to put solid talent on most of the teams he was a part of. In his first season, his squad only won an NBA record seven games.
It is safe to say that LaMelo Ball will not have to see the bottom of the barrel early on in his career. Ball has already won ten more games than Walker did in his first year and is well on his way to possibly making the playoffs. If Ball continues to trend upward, he will amount to more than what Kemba Walker is today.
Versatile all-around game
Even with just a small sample size, Ball has been able to affect all aspects of the game on both sides of the floor. On offense, his playmaking is dangerous in the half-court and transition. Walker was a killer in a half-court offense as well but did not have the innate playmaker abilities that Ball possesses early on in his career. Ball is already a better defender as well, just based on his 6’7 frame alone. In today’s NBA, he can already defend both guard spots and maybe even some forwards in the league. In the NBA, the bigger the player, the better chance they have to dominate the game. Once Ball adds some weight to his frame, he will get closer to being one of the better players in the league.
The supporting cast
As I mentioned before, Walker has never played with another great player, but there were several chances for him to get some help. In the 2012 NBA Draft, management missed out on drafting Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, and even Andre Drummond. Instead, they selected Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with the number two pick and we all know how that panned out for them. Ball has been blessed to be drafted into a better team situation. He is playing with a former All-Star in Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier, who seems to be hitting his prime. Even if the Hornets miss the playoffs this season, they may be able to attract some key free agents to add to their young core.
It is pretty tough for Walker to compete in this category because Ball has been in the spotlight since he was 14 years old and it is all thanks to his father, Lavar Ball. Pulling your son out of high school to play professional basketball overseas will make your popularity skyrocket. Not to mention you were given a signature shoe from a brand that was created by your family while you are still a teenager. Oh yeah, your older brother was also the second name off the board in the 2017 NBA Draft. LaMelo’s star has been lit before entering the league and fans would want any memorabilia with his name on it that is within their grasps. It is insane that he is only 19, but he is already known worldwide.
This is not an attempt to bash Walker at all. He was drafted into a bad situation to start his career and Charlotte fans were sad to see their star player go but happy he got to go into a more winnow situation in Boston. He moved on because it was best for his career. However, receiving Ball after just a few seasons after losing Walker is one hell of a constellation prize. Now the onus is on Michael Jordan and the rest of the organization to appease LaMelo Ball by surrounding him with the necessary pieces to become successful in the NBA., something Charlotte failed to do for Walker.