LaVar Ball Talks LaMelo vs. Lonzo, Says Hornets Need to Start 'Marquee' Rookie

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2021

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) defends New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
Derick Hingle/Associated Press

Following the first of what should be plenty of head-to-head matchups between two of his sons on an NBA court, LaVar Ball was unsurprisingly a little proud of what his family has accomplished.

"Why are they showcasing this game?" Ball said to Fox Sports' Melissa Rohlin of the Charlotte Hornets' 118-110 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. "Charlotte ain't never get on ESPN. Charlotte against Pelicans? That's on ESPN? Yeah, when it's the Ball boys playing. Any other brothers, you can forget about it. That's right, the Ball name is strong."

LaVar, however, was frustrated to see LaMelo Ball only coming off the bench to log 26 minutes. 

"Tell me, have you ever seen a marquee guy, a marquee guy that you promoting in all of this 'brothers going up against each other,' and he don't start?" he said. "I never seen that before in my life. That's like telling Michael Jackson, 'Hey man, you coming on second.'"

LaVar added LaMelo and Lonzo Ball aren't playing "up to my standard on the fact that they're not playing the style I taught them, which is that up-and-down pace, getting that ball in and out and just playing balls out."

He went on to say his three sons, LaMelo, Lonzo and LiAngelo, won't be able to unlock their true ceiling in the NBA until they're on the same team.

For the Hornets, this is what they signed up for when they selected LaMelo with the third overall pick in the 2020 draft. LaVar has always been outspoken, and he wouldn't shy away from expressing his views about LaMelo's usage in Charlotte.

The 19-year-old will probably have to get used to life as a reserve for the time being. Terry Rozier is averaging 20 points and shooting 43.7 percent from three-point range, while Devonte' Graham's 6.4 assists per game are first on the team.

Ball has been solid through nine appearances, putting up 11.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field.

The Hornets are looking to contend for the playoffs, though, so head coach James Borrego will presumably lean a little more on two veterans ahead of a teenaged rookie.