In 1984, Michael Jordan was drafted third overall to the Chicago Bulls. Jordan is now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, who just drafted LaMelo Ball no. 3 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.
That doesn’t mean that anyone expects there to be a legitimate comparison one day, but the buzz around LaMelo Ball right now is as hot as anyone in basketball right now.
Ball didn’t score in his first NBA outing on Saturday, missing all five of his shot attempts in 16 minutes. But he tallied four assists and 10 rebounds in a 111-100 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
He had a chance to make his first impression on NBA Twitter, also a reaction and early review from Jamal Crawford who gave high praise to the Hornets guard.
LaMelo is like Lonzo with more swagger/aggressiveness
— Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) December 13, 2020
Much like his brother Lonzo, who was drafted no. 2 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, LaMelo’s passing ability shined through right away.
every LaMelo Ball pass is saucy. even the most basic entry passes so far he flicks the rock like he’s seen the future and knows it’s going to be a dime.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 13, 2020
How LaMelo passing to his Hornets teammates pic.twitter.com/EbnHKhQf1B
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) December 13, 2020
As soon as they sub Lamelo out pic.twitter.com/bodv8oesa0
— Zuko☄️ (@_adey7) December 13, 2020
Lonzo Ball didn’t score much either in his 2017 preseason debut. He shot 2-of-9 for the field and only scored five points, but added eight assists and seven rebounds in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LaMelo chose a non-traditional route to the NBA. Instead of attending a top-tier college like Lonzo (UCLA), LaMelo signed to play with a team in Lithuania at 16 years old.
After just a few games in Lithuania, he moved to the NBL in Australia to play for the Illawarra Hawks where he thrived before pursuing the NBA Draft.
Ball does have his work cut out for him. Devonte Graham and Terry Rozier are proven NBA guards that come before Ball on the depth chart.
The Hornets have two more preseason games before their scheduled regular-season debut on December 23.