LaMelo Ball ‘not really’ excited about facing LeBron James for first time in career

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

One would think that every NBA rookie would be incredibly excited about playing against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time.

However, Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball has a more blasé mindset about facing off against the four-time MVP.

“I mean, nah,” Ball, 19, told reporters on a videoconference Tuesday ahead of the Hornets’ game against the Lakers on Thursday. “I grew up a little different. Not really on basketball like that. So, not really.”

To be fair, Ball did say that “it will be cool” to take the court against James, but he added that he’s treating the contest pretty much like any other contest.

“I go to every game with the same approach — going in to try to get a win,” Ball said.

Ball is having a strong campaign for the Hornets, averaging 15.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game on the season.

As a result, his team has a 20-18 record and is looking like a playoff-caliber squad.

While many young players these days, such as Ball’s older brother Lonzo, grew up idolizing James, LaMelo Ball’s idol never even played in the NBA.

“It was my pops,” LaMelo Ball said when asked if he had a role model the way his brother looked up to James. “So, I was big on family and stuff like that. Not really with the basketball.”

Lonzo Ball, of course, got to play with James during the 2018-19 season.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.