20-year-old point guard LaMelo Ball was among the biggest snubs of the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves. Averaging 19.6 points per game for the Hornets this season, many fans believed he deserved a place on the roster.
Fortunately, the young stud got the nod in place of the injured Kevin Durant and his reaction was captured live ahead of Monday's game against Toronto.
LaMelo was clearly thrilled to be named an All-Star, but his ambition likely goes further than being named to the annual roster.
As a promising young guard, he has shown flashes of greatness already and could end up being a true franchise player for Charlotte within the next few years.
“You know, who I love watching? The Hornets. Man, I’ve followed LaMelo through the whole YouTube half-court and all the other stuff," said Kevin Garnett. "He’s probably one of my favorites, him and Cole Anthony. LaMelo has kind of an old-school, he moves the ball and has a high IQ. He’s got the old-school feel to him. He has a bunch of magic in him. I can’t wait for him to get some more size on that’s actually gonna take his confidence to another level. I got him being the MVP in less than five years because he’s dictating the league play, the style.”
For a franchise with a rather dark history, LaMelo could be the key to unlocking better days for the team. His skills as a scorer and playmaker help make his teammates better and the guy has become one of the most well-liked and respected rising stars in the game.
I'm in AAU gyms every single weekend, with 300-500 kids. Guess what, a name that comes up every single time someone walks up to me is LaMelo Ball," revelaed Kendrick Perkins. "That's what I'm trying to explain... When I think of a household name, every kid in America loves LaMelo Ball, and right now, he's at the point where you can call him a superstar.
While the Hornets might not look like much today, they have a solid core to build around going forward (Ball, Bridges, Hayward) and there is no doubt that the franchise has a bright future ahead of them.
As for LaMelo, his All-Star nod is likely a sign of things to come. For a passionate, hard-working point guard with crazy potential, it won't be surprising if he emerges as a regular MVP candidate down the line.
We'll just have to wait and see what the future has in store.