LiAngelo Ball Inches Closer to a Family Reunion With His Brothers After a Shining Performance in G League Debut
Lonzo and LaMelo Ball have enjoyed plenty of success early in their NBA careers, but LiAngelo Ball hasn’t been able to find a spot alongside his two brothers in the league. The middle brother failed to make the Charlotte Hornets‘ final roster this year after playing fairly well in the Summer League.
Despite missing out on the chance to team up with LaMelo on the Hornets, LiAngelo got his first chance to play for a G League team this year. And after his impressive debut for the Greensboro Swarm, he just inched closer to a family reunion in the NBA.
LiAngelo Ball has yet to join his brothers in the NBA
LiAngelo Ball has been the victim of Middle Child Syndrome for most of his life. Lonzo and LaMelo were always regarded as elite prospects who both had a future in the NBA, but LiAngelo was always in the background trying to make a name for himself.
The 22-year-old committed to UCLA after Lonzo in hopes of following him from Los Angeles to the NBA, but he left the school before playing in a single game. LiAngelo instead went overseas to keep playing and try to improve his draft stock.
That decision didn’t exactly work out for the California native. He entered the 2018 NBA Draft after playing one season in Lithuania with Prienu Vytautas, but he didn’t hear his name called that night.
Two years later, LiAngelo signed with the Detroit Pistons, but the team waived him less than two weeks later. He played for the Hornets in the Summer League earlier this year and averaged 9.6 points per game on 37.5% shooting.
The Hornets didn’t decide to keep LiAngelo on their regular season roster, but they gave him the opportunity to play for their G League team, the Greensboro Swarm.
LiAngelo Ball shines in G League debut
This could be LiAngelo’s best chance to make it onto an NBA roster. He’s well aware of that fact, and he wasted no time making an impression.
In his G League debut for the Swarm on Friday night, LiAngelo poured in 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting and 4-of-7 from three. And the most impressive part? He did it in just 24 minutes off the bench.
The Swarm fell to the Birmingham Squadron by 11 points in the game, but LiAngelo finished the contest as a team-high +12. He looked confident shooting the ball from three and moved well off the ball to set up some easy buckets near the rim. It was a solid all-around performance from the forgotten brother still chasing his dream.
Still chasing a Ball family reunion
Lonzo and LaMelo have long and prosperous NBA careers ahead of them, but LiAngelo is still fighting to make it to the league three years after going undrafted. Being on Charlotte’s G League roster puts him closer than he’s ever been to joining his brothers for a family reunion.
NBA teams are always looking for microwave scorers to bring off the bench. If LiAngelo can keep shooting the lights out for the Swarm, the Hornets will surely notice. They can call him up to the active roster at any point.
Even if LiAngelo can land a two-way contract with the team, all he needs is one chance to prove he belongs in the NBA alongside his brothers.
All stats courtesy of Real GM and NBA G League.
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