It didn’t take long before LaMelo Ball silenced his critics and proved that he’s got what it takes to be one of the faces of the NBA going forward. He’s been nothing short of spectacular since sliding into the starting lineup and it’s clear that he’s leading the race for the Rookie of the Year award.
Ball’s skills were in full display last night as he torched the Portland Trail Blazers for 30 points. At the end of the day, he even got a shoutout from the original Melo, as they embraced in a warm hug and swapped jerseys after the game.
Melo and Melo trade jerseys 🤝 pic.twitter.com/rvQ7NnLkdL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 2, 2021
The media asked Carmelo Anthony about LaMelo’s nickname, as he also goes by ‘Melo’. But, rather than take it as a sign of disrespect or anything like that, the 18-year veteran gave him his blessing and said it was an honor for him:
“I try to embrace the next generation of guys and the young players. It was fun playing against him tonight… LaMelo is going to be in the league for a long time so you might as well use it. For me, it’s an honor,” Anthony said.
Carmelo added that he’s not offended by the fact that LaMelo is also copying his ‘three-to-the-dome’ celebration after knocking down a three-pointer, saying that he’s embraced it as a sign of respect:
“It’s an honor for him to have that name for him to embrace it. It’s a blessing, it’s a respect thing for me,” Anthony added.
Carmelo Anthony clearing the air on the Melo controversy with LaMelo Ball:
“I vouched for it, he can do it”<-on LaMelo doing 3 to the dome celly
“It’s an honor for him to have that name for him to embrace it. It’s a blessing, it’s a respect thing for me”<-on LaMelo going by Melo pic.twitter.com/CgL1PK6UXO
— AJ McCord (@AJ_McCord) March 2, 2021
Thus far, the third-overall pick of the draft is averaging 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game to go along with 1.6 steals and 1.9 three-pointers. He’s confident and his stock is trending up right now, so there’s no wonder why Anthony is giving him his blessing to carry on his torch as the NBA’s ‘Melo’.