Updated: Feb 11
Unless you've been under a rock over the past few years LaMelo's journey to the NBA was well documented. The entire basketball world first saw LaMelo Ball in action during his freshman year at Chino Hills High School. From there LaMelo ended up in Lithuania playing with his brothers for team Prienai. After their brief stint abroad, LaVar Ball (his father) founded the Junior Basketball League as an alternative for high school students who don’t want to play in the collegiate system. He played for the Los Angeles Ballers during the league’s only season. LaMelo Ball chose to return to high school basketball for the remainder of his high school career by enrolling at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. It was there that scouts began to take an interest in him once more as he was finally out of his father’s shadow. He played impressively enough that scouts began to take notice of how he improved compared to the last time they took a look at him.
So, by the time the 2020 NBA draft rolls around the WORLD is waiting to, not only, see where this kid would land and if he'd live up to the hype. Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets select Ball with the 3rd overall pick and now we WAIT for the 2020-2021 season to tip off.
LaMelo suffered through some early season jitters as a shooter. After making over half of his attempts in a shortened December, LaMelo hit only 23.2 percent of his 3-pointers over his next 15 games. The terms/phrases we sports enthusiast love to use start to come across the airways and through the articles and blogs...."Bust", "Waste Of Talent", "Playing With The Big Boys Now".
His last six, however, have been a different story (I wonder if he was listening). The kid has made 14 of his last 28 long-range attempts entering Monday's game, but he took things to another level in a 119-94 victory over the Houston Rockets by making seven of his 12 looks from behind the arc. Beyond his shooting numbers going up, he's attacking the basket and putting defenders into significantly bad situations. We are starting to see that kid play like he was back when he was overseas.
I'm reminded of something that Luka Dončić said last season about scoring in the NBA being "easier" than it is in Europe. I wonder if more young basketball kids will travel across the "pond" to perfect their games before playing in the association, since both Luka and Ball have made the transition look easy.
As we come up on the halfway mark of this season Ball getting praise from his competitors for his play as well as leading ALL rookies in ppg (14.2), FG percentage (43.3%), and Minuets played (672). I guess it's safe to say LaMelo Ball was worth the wait cause this dude is the REAL DEAL!!!!