The Charlotte Hornets are having an average season, but it is impressive compared to their previous seasons. The Hornets have been starved of any real success, but the city is buzzing again with the presence of the 20-year-old guard LaMelo Ball.
With Ball on the floor, the Hornets always have a chance. His passing ability stands out, as he has been likened to some of the great passers in NBA history. LaMelo is confident in his abilities, and that confidence spreads to his teammates when he plays.
The 2021 Rookie of the Year has been a bright spot for the Hornets, and teammate Miles Bridges acknowledges that. There is a sense of arrogance that comes with players who have so much attention, especially one that has his signature shoe as a teenager, but that is not the case with Melo.
According to Sports Illustrated, Bridges sees him as the complete opposite of that.
“With those type of guys, you always think they’re going to come in with a cocky attitude. But it’s crazy because Melo, he’s just the complete opposite. He’s just a hardworking kid that wants to get better.”
LaMelo has undoubtedly impacted the Hornets, as there is renewed excitement within the franchise.
"My first two years, it was only packed if we played the Lakers, the Knicks, or the Celtics. A lot of fans came to see them. Now fans actually come to see us. That’s Melo. He’s made the difference.”
With the way he plays, you can see that he just wants to win basketball games, and the Hornets could make their first playoff appearance since the 2015-16 season. You know you are doing something right when you draw praise from arguably the best player in NBA history. Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan once complimented Melo, saying he has exceeded the organization's expectations.
So far this season, LaMelo is leading the team in points (19.9), assists (8.2), rebounds (7.6), and steals (1.8). He is having an incredible season and could make his first All-Star appearance if he continues to play at such a high level.