Charlotte Hornets Owner Michael Jordan Reveals Rookie LaMelo Ball Exceeded His Expectations

Published 03/05/2021, 1:06 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


LaMelo Ball has been one of the shining stars this NBA season. The #3 overall pick has been playing fantastic ball for the Charlotte Hornets.

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LaMelo has been a game-changer for the franchise, as they are looking really good for the first time in several years. His play has even impressed Hornets’ owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan happy with LaMelo

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Michael Jordan sent an email to the Associated Press, where he showed great admiration for LaMelo has played. He noted that LaMelo has done more than what he and others thought he could do.

“I think Melo has adjusted to the NBA game better than any of us ever thought this early in his career,” Jordan said. “He has exceeded our expectations so far this season.”

CHAPEL HILL, NC – MARCH 7: Former player Michael Jordan of the North Carolina Tar Heels is honored during a halftime ceremony during a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the Dean Smith Center on March 7, 2007 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

These words are high praise for LaMelo Ball. Ball is currently a front runner for the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Michael Jordan himself would be familiar with that prize, having won it in his rookie season in 1984-85.

Furthermore, Jordan is one of the greatest players ever, so he knows what it takes to be successful in the NBA better than anyone else.

LaMelo Ball has been excellent this season. This past month alone, he was averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. He became only the 3rd rookie after LeBron James and Luka Doncic to be able to average this stat-line for one month. For the season, Ball has averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists with the Charlotte Hornets.

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LaMelo has been crucial to the success of the Charlotte Hornets. He and Gordon Hayward have formed an exciting tandem in Charlotte, and the Hornets are looking like legitimate playoff contenders this year.

For a team that has struggled to break into the top half of the table for the past few years, this is in stark contrast for them. And Ball has been at the epicenter of the change.

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Feb 7, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) looks to pass ahead of Washington Wizards guard Raul Neto (19) in the second half at Spectrum Center. The Charlotte Hornets won 119-97. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Can LaMelo Ball win rookie of the year this season? He is currently considered one of the favorites to win the title. However, he must continue to excel at the same level that he has to be in serious contention.

But given the way other rookies have fared compared to him, Ball should feel good about his chances moving toward the second half of the NBA season.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1223 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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