LaMelo Ball Joins LeBron James and Kevin Durant in a Unique NBA Rookie Record

Published 01/02/2021, 5:45 AM EST
Dec 27, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) passes during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at the Spectrum Center. Hornets won 106-104. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports


The youngest diamond from the Ball family, LaMelo, entered the NBA with a lot of fuss over his name. It was clear from almost a couple of years ago that he will be amongst the Top-3 picks. That possibility turned true when Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets picked him #3 in the NBA Drafts 2020. 

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However, unlike his counterparts in Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves) and James Wiseman (Warriors), LaMelo did not enjoy a memorable debut game. He played for 16 minutes and remained scoreless in his first NBA game against the Cavs. 

However, the rookie has started justifying all the hype that surrounded him.

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LaMelo Ball is already on an esteemed list

The 19-YO played his best game against the Dallas Mavericks. He scored 22 points, 8 boards, and 5 assists in that game bolstering the Hornets’ claim to a 118-99 victory.

That performance also helped LaMelo to break into a list of stars who scored such numbers very early in their rookie year. He broke the record set by Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker with that performance. Considering how he played his first game at 19 years and 123 days, this was the best he could do.

The Hornets have been the dark horse in the league so far. They stunned Luka Doncic’s Mavs in addition to the Brooklyn Nets.

They vindicated themselves following their clutch-time 2-point loss to OKC by besting the Nets even as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined 54 points. In that game, Melo barely played for 20 minutes, scoring 5 boards & 5 assists, but just 6 points.

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How is the rookie impacting the Charlotte Hornets?

Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) shoots during the first half against the Raptors at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Up until now, the young gun has played in 5 games and has averaged 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4 assists. His record for NBL in the 12 games he played was 17 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and 6.8 apg. So, the 6’7” point guard has big promises to fulfill in his rookie year itself.

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He is creative, someone who can change plays as per the strategy of the opposition. His ball-handling, crossover moves, and passing skills are very fresh and unique. As he progresses in the league, he will only sharpen those skills to become a lethal weapon in the Hornets’ arsenal. 

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Sourabh Singh

1449 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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