It's never easy to make the leap and adjust right away when you enter the NBA. The game is faster, the court is wider, the rivals are bigger. It's a merciless business for young players out there.
Every now and then, however, a handful of prospects proves that they're ready right out of the gate and play the game as if they had been in the league for years now, and you can take LaMelo Ball for an example.
The younger of the Ball household was a fierce competitor during his rookie season, almost leading the Charlotte Hornets to a playoff berth despite their youth.
So, when asked about the biggest adjustment he had to make when entering the NBA, he said that the work ethic and the effort you have to put in has to be top-notch night in and night out:
"The biggest lesson is pretty much knowing we have to come in there every game just with that type of mentality, trying to win and just being ready for it, you know?" Ball told Sports Illustrated. "Preparation, just stuff we do before and all that type of stuff.
“Pretty much the whole year I feel like on a whole you can learn from it, take it, move on. It started out pretty well. Probably didn’t have the type off ending we wanted. But like I said, a learning lesson something we can all remember and take it for fuel next year," Ball added.
Ball is excited for what's to come for the up-and-coming Hornets. He's looking forward to working out with his teammates and having a full off-season to continue building chemistry:
"I think it will hep a lot, just building all that chemistry, staying in the gym, getting all those reps up. So I feel like everything I do is going to help for next season," the young guard added.
But LaMelo isn't just trying to get to the playoffs. He wants to win the whole thing already, and went as far as to say that his goal for his sophomore year is non-other than winning the NBA Championship:
"We all know how we can be. I think everybody over here knows what type of team we can be. I definitely feel like we can be that kind of caliber team when everybody is back right. "You want to go in every year just thinking championship. If not, why are you playing, what are you even doing? So championship, that’s the mindset you better have," he concluded.
You love to see that mindset and competitive spirit for sure. That's the confidence that made Michael Jordan know that he had made the right move when he took him ahead of James Wiseman, and while winning a ring could be out of reach for the Hornets right now, you have to be excited for this team going forward.