LaMelo Ball was recently interview by Slam Magazine and dropped an interesting quote in the interview. “When they really put them keys in my hand, I feel like it’s gonna be a whole new situation. But until then, I’m going to keep doing what I need to do, just try to get these wins…. I ain’t gonna lie, every game I feel like I can do more than what I’m doing. Put that bitch in my ands and let me rock!! That’s how I be feeling. And then we’re going to be straight.”
LaMelo also stated that the Hornets hopefully move past the play in to the playoffs and continue to build on top of that.
We have seen examples of this throughout the season, but most recently we saw Borrego’s reluctance to fully trust LaMelo Ball during the Knicks game last Wednesday night in the Spectrum Center. After three quarters LaMelo was up to 32 points and was well on his way to a new career high – his first 40 point performance, Borrego sat LaMelo the first six minutes of the first quarter and by the time he came back into the game he was out of his rhythm. Ball finished the 4th quarter 0-2 and the Hornets’ come-back attempt failed. When asked about his decision to sit LaMelo for so long, coach James Borrego said is was “his normal rest time.” This was something that was different than what we’ve seen in the past from Borrego. We’ve seen plenty of times in the past four seasons where has gone with a lineup that has worked or a player who has the hot hand.
LaMelo is nearly two seasons through his young NBA career and has already accomplished a lot. He was the 2021 Rookie of the Year and an All-Star this season. Lamelo is also doing things that only LeBron James and Luka Doncic have done. He will join those two as the only players in the history of the NBA to have multiple seasons averaging at least 15 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds before turning 21. If his current stats hold, LaMelo will average 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists a game this season.
For LaMelo to take the next step in his career he needs to be handed the keys with no restrictions.