Charlotte Hornets Guard LaMelo Ball was named NBA Rookie of the 12 months 2020-21. per ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ball, the third choose within the 2020 NBA Draft class, had a storied highschool profession in Chino Hills, a televised journey to the semi-professional ball in Lithuania, and a powerful time with the Illawarra Hawks within the NBL, the place he averaged 17, Scored 0 factors. 7.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.6 steals per sport.
He confronted excessive expectations instantly upon arriving within the league as his brother Lonzo was second total within the 2017 draft and the main focus of basketball world’s consideration after him, Lonzo and his eldest brother was LiAngelo’s dominance at Chino Hills.
– additional time (@ additional time) June 16, 2021
Ball jumped impressively over each bar anticipated of him this 12 months.
His crafty fashion of play, his breathtaking passes via (and changeable) site visitors, and his means to slide via lanes and into the paint for feather-light layers all tousled the protection.
Whereas Ball solely performed 51 video games this season because of a wrist harm, he averaged 15.7 factors (with 43.6 p.c capturing from the sector and 35.2 p.c from three), 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1, 6 steals per sport.
LaMelo Ball ROTY season:
5.9 position play
He and Luka Doncic are the one rookies in NBA historical past with a median of 15/5/5 and 1.5+ threesomes in a season. pic.twitter.com/H1A3bMc8Vf
– StatMuse (@statmuse) June 16, 2021
Melo’s stats are much more spectacular when in comparison with his friends and rookies.
Earlier than the All-Star Break, Ball was the one rookie previously 60 years to prime all rookies on factors, rebounds, assists and steals. It is price noting that Ball did so with out beginning a sport by February 1.
His scores per 36 (19.7 factors, 7.4 rebounds, 7.7 assists) had been solely exceeded or exceeded by six gamers: Luka Donic, James Harden, Lebron James, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Russell Westbrook. Up so far, Ball has joined Doncic as the one rookie in NBA historical past with a median of 15+ factors, 5+ assists, 5+ rebounds and 1.5+ 3 pointers per sport.
Earlier than the season and after his harm, Ball’s standing as a shoo-in for the award was in query.
The truth is, everybody within the NBA neighborhood believes that Anthony Edwards, the Minnesota Timberwolves rookie (first total choose within the 2020 NBA draft) deserves the award. Edwards performed greater than ball in 21 video games, averaging 19.3 factors, 2.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per sport whereas capturing 41.7 p.c from the sector and 32.9 p.c from 3-point vary .
Nonetheless, what in all probability mattered was Ball’s means to contribute to a successful staff. Whereas Edwards’ Timberwolves solely received 23 video games regardless of being led by a stellar expertise in Karl-Anthony Cities, Ball helped lead a Charlotte staff that featured first-time starters Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham as their prime gamers final season with 33 wins (and one place) thought-about within the play-in event).
With a whole offseason forward of him and a Rookie of the 12 months award for his trophy case, there aren’t any limits to the youngest ball brother.