LaVar Ball seems to always have an opinion when it comes to his sons or something to do with basketball — or both. This has led to him already sending a stern message to the Charlotte Hornets, who selected his son, LaMelo Ball, with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. In fact, it appears that LaVar isn’t too happy about how the Hornets are using his son.
LaMelo Ball was a top prospect in the 2020 NBA draft
LaMelo Ball had an interesting path to the NBA, not quite following in his brother Lonzo’s footsteps. LaMelo played for Chino Hills initially, but LaVar withdrew him from school in the fall of 2017.
He and his other brother LiAngelo then played professionally for a Lithuanian club, BC Prienai-Skycop, in 2018. They also played in the Junior Basketball Association in 2018. The two brothers even combined for 86 points in a game, according to Bleacher Report.
During the 2018-19 season, though, LaMelo actually returned to high school ball, as he played for SPIRE Academy. However, that was, again, short lived, as he played for the Illawarra Hawks of the Australian National Basketball League in 2019-20. In 12 games for the Hawks, LaVar’s son averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals, per Bleacher Report.
LaMelo declared for the 2020 NBA draft in April 2020. The Charlotte Hornets then ultimately selected him with the No. 3 overall pick.
LaVar Ball is already sending a stern message to the Charlotte Hornets
Through his first two NBA games so far, LaMelo has not yet started in a game. LaVar Ball recently had something to say about him not being in the starting lineup.
When asked if LaMelo deserves to be a starter soon, this was LaVar’s answer.
“Does he deserve it soon? Hell no, he deserves it right now,” LaVar said when speaking to the media at a Big Baller Brand charity event on Dec. 23, according to TMZ. “Soon ain’t the word; he deserves it right now. … Melo been a pro since he [was] 16.”
He continued: “If that’s your marquee guy, who marquee guy don’t start?”
Well, that’s a good question, but the Hornets have some talented guards in front of LaMelo. Devonte’ Graham averaged 18.2 points per game and 7.5 assists last season, while Terry Rozier averaged 18 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
LaMelo will probably get an opportunity to start eventually, but he will have to work for it.
LaMelo Ball has had a slow start with the Charlotte Hornets
While LaMelo showed his extremely high potential in the preseason, he has had a slow start in the regular season.
Through two games so far, LaMelo is averaging 6.5 points per game, two assists, and 3.5 rebounds. He is also only shooting 33.3% from the field and 28.6% from 3-point range. That doesn’t help LaVar’s argument about him starting very much.
In his first game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he went scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting, turned the ball over three times, and had three assists. However, in his second game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, LaMelo had a nice bounce-back game. He scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting and went 2-of-4 from 3-point range. LaMelo also had six rebounds in the game.
“He looked like he was having fun, more aggressive, more confident,” Hornets head coach James Borrego said, according to Yahoo Sports. “You know, he’s a rookie. This the first time he’s gone through this. This is new for him. So, I thought he handled himself very well tonight, played much better tonight.”
While LaMelo played better, he only played in a little over 15 minutes during his second game.
“It’s tough,” Borrego said of possibly playing LaMelo more, according to Yahoo Sports. “I mean, there’s a number of guys that are capable of handling minutes, you know, and I’ve got to juggle that lineup and that rotation. And, you know, LaMelo’s got to continue to do his part and, you know, it’s my job to do what’s best for this club.”
If LaMelo continues to play well like he did in his second game, Borrego will have to find a way to give him some more minutes. If LaMelo doesn’t see the court more in that scenario, though, we all know that LaVar will have something to say about it.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference