Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball had himself a nice All Star Weekend. He didn’t win any awards or blow everyone away with some crazy standout performance, but belonged. That’s saying something when you’re the fourth youngest All Star in NBA history.
I think it’s easy for Hornets to forget how special a start to a career we’re witnessing. Ball was named an All Star as an alternate to replace the injured Kevin Durant. Only Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson appeared in the game at a younger age. He’s averaging 20.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game. The only players to do that in their age 20 seasons are Ball, Doncic, and James. Both of the other two made the All Star teams in their second season and haven’t stopped since. Ball will try to follow in that path.
Ball started off his All Star Weekend debut in the Rising Stars game. The game featured a new format, with four teams of seven playing a mini knockout tournament of sorts. Ball’s team lost in their opening round game, but Ball scored eight points and made a couple of important plays down the stretch, though he did miss a potential game winner.
Ball capped off the weekend in the big boy game—the 2022 NBA All Star game. He finished third on his team in scoring with 18 points and wowed the crowd and broadcast with some flashy passing.
It’s hopefully the first of many for the Hornets young star. He shined among the rest of the All Stars and proved he was a deserving selection. We’ve got a lot to be excited about as Hornets fans.