LaMelo Ball is already making a lot of noise in the NBA, becoming the favorite to win the 2021 Rookie of the Year award.
He landed in Charlotte to play with the Hornets, and things have been terrific for the guard and the team. Although he missed some time with a wrist injury, Ball is back in action, taking his squad to at least the play-in tournament this season.
Melo is very young and has a bright future ahead of him. However, he believed he could have made it to the league way before. Yet, rules wouldn't allow him to participate in the association. Talking with Jonathan Abrams of The New York Times, Melo said he could have been good in the league at 14. Yes, he said it.
At what age do you think you could have reasonably competed in the N.B.A.?
Reasonably competed? I would say, my thought process, I was 14 at the time when I thought I could have been.
These scenarios often take place in Europe, with Luka Doncic being probably the most famous case. Ricky Rubio also became a pro at a very young age. However, things are different in the association. Regardless of what Melo thought, he wouldn't have made it due to the rules.
Moreover, he opened up on his ROY race, making a big revelation. Even though he's widely considered the top candidate to take the award home, Ball didn't make that a priority for him this season.
Was obtaining the Rookie of the Year Award a goal for you entering this season?
Nah, not really. I ain’t really look at it as a goal. I just knew I was going to go out there, just had to be me. And if chips fall where they fall, you get the rookie of the year or you don’t. You still just got to play, though. It’s more of a team game. I’m trying to go to the playoffs, trying to go on a deep run, stuff like that.
The future looks very promising for this young man and his team. With players like Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and more, the Hornets have big potential. With Melo moving the strings, Michael Jordan's team could be making a lot of noise in the future.