Gordon Hayward Compares LaMelo Ball’s Game to That of Luka Doncic & Russell Westbrook

Published 01/22/2021, 2:05 PM EST
Dec 14, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) gets fouled by Toronto Raptors forward Stanley Johnson (5) during the second half at the Spectrum Center. Raptors won 112-109. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports


Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball sure has a lot of game in him. Ball went as the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and he is expected to perform at an elite level by the fans. It has so far been a good start for LaMelo, and his teammate Gordon Hayward has massive faith in the youngster.

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19-year-old Ball and 30-year-old Hayward both became a part of the Hornets franchise during the 2020 offseason. While Ball came through the draft, Hayward was acquired via free agency. 

Gordon Hayward names the players LaMelo Ball can emulate in his career

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LaMelo Ball is a tremendous athlete and his high school records are beyond impressive. The NBA’s not LaMelo’s first professional league stint, as he played one season with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League (NBL) in Australia. 

“Yeah, I think LaMelo is going to be really good in this league for a lot of years. He’s got great size. More than anything, he has great feel for the game,” Gordon Hayward told Sam Amick of ‘The Athletic.’ 

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

Ball’s career path slightly resembles that of Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic. Both are guards who turned pro before they entered the NBA and Gordon Hayward thinks LaMelo carries a style of play that matches Doncic’s. 

“He’s kind of like — to me, he’s got that same type of feel as like (Dallas’) Luka (Doncic), as (Washington’s) Russ (Westbrook), where they just are around the ball and the ball kind of just comes to them,” Hayward added about Ball. 

LaMelo also earned the praise of LeBron James

Gordon Hayward expressed his heartfelt comments about 19YO LaMelo and it will undoubtedly motivate the youngster even more. Hayward added more to his thoughts and pointed out a great aspect of his game: 

“With rebounds and (being able) to make the right plays and always kind of being at that right position, to me, he has that same type of feel and energy for the game. I think he’s gonna be really good,” Hayward mentioned. 

Speaking about being really good, we are currently witnessing the talent of LaMelo Ball unfold in the NBA. Moreover, the budding point guard recently etched his name in NBA history by becoming the youngest player ever to record a triple-double. 

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LaMelo got 22 points, 11 assists, and 12 rebounds to achieve the feat, and this prompted LeBron James to salute the 19-year-old point guard for his effort. 

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You know you’re good when the ‘King’ applauds your game. That’s just how talented LaMelo Ball is, and we’re yet to witness him unleash his full potential in the NBA! 

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Arjun Athreya

1940 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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