An alarming lack of competitive fire
LaMelo Ball has yet to play hard
BY DAVID THORPE
LaMelo Ball is 6-7 with incredible ball skills and a gifted sense of finding open teammates. There’s a Jason Kidd/Ben Simmons aspect, a tall game manager who can feed high-scoring teammates, lead breathtaking fast breaks, and make average scorers look amazing with perfectly timed “dimes.” And he appears to have big potential as a scorer. Instead of playing in college last season, LaMelo played a dozen games in Australia’s top professional league. Over his last two games he managed a total of 57 points on 58 shots. So he isn’t shy.
That all sounds great. Who wouldn’t love a high-scoring version of Ben Simmons?
He dazzles enough in highlights that he has some respected draft experts calling him the best prospect in the 2020 draft.
I wonder what they’re smoking. Because while I see potential, I also see a shocking lack of the gas needed to fuel NBA success: competitive fire. Without that, he’ll struggle to be an NBA player, let alone a star.