Last November as the Warriors prepared to make their selection with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the thought of LaMelo Ball running shotgun with Steph Curry was bandied about by many.
Would Ball, who had issues with turnovers and shot selection in Australia, fit in the Warriors' system? Was the electric but hectic guard the right selection for a team looking to both contend now and build for later?
Those questions became moot when the Warriors selected James Wiseman with the No. 2 overall pick while Ball was grabbed by the Charlotte Hornets at No. 3.
LaMelo's father, LaVar Ball, knew his son wouldn't land with the Warriors due to his past feud with coach Steve Kerr.
"I knew that Melo wasn't going to go to Golden State on the fact that Steve Kerr was the coach," LaVar told 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" on Wednesday. "He called me something, a Kardashian of coaching or something. I don't know what he called me. But I got mad and called him the Milli Vanilli of coaching. So that was not going to work because how are you going to play for a guy that is kind of mad at your dad. So now you go to listen to him and I could see him saying, 'Hey, I'm your employer don't listen to what your dad is saying.' I could see that. And that's not going to let Melo play. That's not going to work because now you have to think about your coach and your father."
LaVar, however, admits the pairing of Curry and LaMelo would have been something to behold.
"It would have looked awesome," LaVar said. "As far as the makeup of the team, that would have been awesome. I don't see the coaching and the father thing -- it would get away from basketball. It wouldn't be like, 'Oh, they are talking about basketball.' They would always be asking questions like, 'How do you feel about your dad and Steve Kerr?' Then you get away from basketball. But the team would have been awesome. I have to let you know. He would have been running loose with them boys."
Back in 2018, Kerr was highly critical of LaVar after the elder Ball criticized then Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton for how he was using his son Lonzo Ball.
LaVar, then coaching LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball in Lithuania, shot back at Kerr with the aforementioned Milli Vanilli comment.
“He’s the Milli Vanilli of coaching,” Ball said. “What I mean is, you can go stand in the same spot like Luke Walton did and win 20-something games when you’ve got the right horses just running. Sometimes less coaching is the best coaching, but some of these guys like to act like they’ve really coached some guys that know how to play.”
“How do you coach KD [Kevin Durant], Steph Curry, Draymond Green And Klay Thompson? You know how you coach them? You don’t. Turn your back and let them do what they do.”
But while LaVar now says LaMelo would have been a great fit on the Warriors, that was not his view during the pre-draft process.
“That’s the part I don’t like about Golden State,” LaVar said on the Say Less with Kaz podcast. “They got Klay and the other guys and now you want to put ‘Melo in that mix to say you got to follow these guys. ‘Melo ain’t no follower. He don’t need to do what they do, let them do they thing. There’s a reason you are looking at my son. He’s talented and can play the game. It ain’t that hard. Guy is open and you pass it to them. You open and you been working on your shot? Shoot the ball. It’s fast-paced, it’s good.
"But don’t be like ‘Melo got to his turn and wait for two or three years to go by and learn from the veterans. Ain’t about that. Can you play or not? And when you special, how do you coach somebody special? You just enjoy it and they special because of the things they do. Enjoy it. Let him do what he does.”
While Wiseman had a turbulent rookie season, LaMelo had a fantastic season in Charlotte, averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 1.59 steals in 28.8 minutes en route to being named Rookie of the Year.
LaMelo and the Hornets will face the Warriors on Wednesday night at Chase Center, but Wiseman will not be a factor in the contest as he continues to rehab from the meniscus surgery that ended his rookie season early.