As a result of he had by no means performed a full season of faculty or skilled basketball coming into the NBA, there have been query marks hanging over LaMelo Ball and the way he would transition to the NBA.
However midway by way of his rookie season, the 20-year-old Ball has silenced all of the doubters and earned a giant fan in a man named Michael Jordan.
“I believe Melo has adjusted to the NBA recreation higher than any of us ever thought this early in his profession,” Jordan, the bulk proprietor of the Charlotte Hornets, told The Associated Press in an e mail. “He has exceeded our expectations to date this season.”
The No. 3 total decide in final 12 months’s NBA Draft, Ball leads all rookies in factors (15.8), assists (6.3), rebounds (6) and steals (1.6) per recreation.
Per ESPN, Ball is in some heady firm. Each different rookie to guide the NBA in factors, rebounds and assists on the All-Star break has gained Rookie of the Year honors:
Alvan Adams, 1975-76
Oscar Robertson, 1960-61
Wilt Chamberlain, 1959-60
Elgin Baylor, 1958-59
Bob Pettit, 1954-55
“Proper now, with the way in which issues look, he seems to be like NBA rookie of the 12 months to me,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle stated. “He’s getting it performed statistically, their group is successful. He’s obtained vitality, he’s obtained a vibe, he’s obtained swagger. If you happen to like watching gamers that play with aptitude, he’s proper up there.”
Maybe most significantly, the Hornets, who’ve made simply three playoff appearances since Jordan grew to become the bulk proprietor in 2010, are 17-18 coming into the All-Star break, only a recreation behind the fourth place Boston Celtics within the Jap Convention. The final time Charlotte gained a playoffs collection was in 2002, when Jordan was nonetheless an lively participant.
Now Ball has Jordan and the Hornets dreaming of extra postseason success.
“He’ll be right here for a very long time, you guys will probably be speaking about Melo for a very long time,” Carmelo Anthony informed reporters.
The Related Press contributed reporting.