LaMelo Ball is off to a really good start in his rookie season, having just played his way into the Hornets' starting lineup. As the Hornets get set to face Washington on Sunday, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks has been studying film of Charlotte's young star. He sees sky-high potential.
"He’s extremely impressive and his future is extremely bright. He could potentially be an All-Star pretty soon," Brooks said.
Ball, just 19 years old, was the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Through 23 games this season, he's averaging 13.6 points, 6.0 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals. He's shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from long range.
The numbers, though, don't do him justice yet. He has become a highlight reel sensation with full-court passes, behind-the-back assists and clever finishes around the rim.
At 6-foot-7, Ball has a natural feel for the game that Brooks can tell was honed at an early age.
"Extremely high-level passer and play-maker. Loves the game, you can just see it. Outstanding. He was raised the right way on the basketball court with how he plays. Even his brother [Lonzo], it’s the same way, they play to win," Brooks said.
Brooks then shifted focus to their father, LaVar, and echoed what he said during Lonzo's rookie year to the Washington Post. Brooks has pushed back on the lightning rod reputation several times over the years, citing his own upbringing in contrast.
"You can criticize all you want about his dad and this and that. I said it a few years ago, I’m impressed in that I didn’t have a father growing up. It’s kind of nice when you have somebody. I know I wish I would have had a dad that was overly protective and involved. He’s done a great job of raising those two guys to play the right way," Brooks said.