The Los Angeles Lakers got the win against the scrappy Charlotte Hornets on Thursday, with LeBron James having one of his best scoring games of the season.
On the other side, it was another incredible performance from No. 3 overall draft pick LaMelo Ball. He finished with 26 points, five rebounds and seven assists on 10-of-18 shooting after getting off to a slow start.
On both sides of the floor, Ball still has plenty of things to improve. However, this early into his first season, he’s showing that he can be a special talent in this league.
James recognized the ability of Ball after the game, praising the skills he’s already learned in his rookie year. “I think he’s damn good to be his age,” James said. “His speed, his quickness, his ability to make shots at all facets, in the pant, floaters, threes, he has the three tiers already and he’s gonna only get better.
“Every game is a learning experience for him, he’s gonna get better and better as the season goes on, as his career goes on and so on and so on.”
James also spoke about the comparisons between the Hornets rookie and his brother, Lonzo Ball. “Him and Zo are two just very unique players in our league and they showcase that every night.”
While it took the eldest of the three Ball children a little bit more time to get acclimated to the NBA game, he is now playing some of his best basketball on a nightly basis for the New Orleans Pelicans. He is also the subject of heavy trade rumors as the Pelicans look to shake things up.
For Hornets fans, seeing James praise Ball in this way should let them know that there is something special there. James has shown throughout his career that he has an eye for young talent, and there’s no denying what Ball can do on a nightly basis.
Kyle Kuzma not surprised by Ball’s rookie season
Kuzma praised Ball’s early performance, saying that path he took has helped him considerably. “Being in Australia for him helped his game out a lot. It really sped up the process of understanding the game, you just see how well he’s playing the game this year. Going back to him being a fifth-sixth grader playing up against teens and going to Lithuania and then playing in the NBL in Australia with grown men,” he said.
“When you are playing basketball with a higher level of people your game is going to be much more mature. It’s not really shocking to me.”
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