Remember LaMelo Ball? The young point guard stagnated

Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics defend LaMelo of the Charlotte Hornets during the fourth quarter of the game at TD Garden on February 10, 2023 in Boston.

Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams Boston Celtics Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo defends the ball during the fourth quarter of the game at TD Garden on Feb. 10, 2023, in Boston.
Picture: Getty Images

Entering the season, you could see the Charlotte Hornets headed for the gorge. They lost their second best player off the field questions, i LaMelo ball he literally limped in the year. Good, the family car crashed right into that cliff.

The third year gamekeeper is the team’s best attempt at building a franchise ever, and its entire 2022 campaign has been hollow, if not complete. Ball missed almost half the games with ankle injuries and I’m not sure how much that would have helped even if he had been healthy.

The Hornets have lost six straight and eight of their last 10, and are 15-42, good for the third-worst record in the NBA. In his second stint as head coach in the Queen City, Steve Clifford was a disaster. Shocking, I know. Normally, if you bring a coach back, it’s because he was successful.

The team was on ESPN Friday night and trailed the Boston Celtics by 20 in the first half en route to a 127-116 loss. I mention this because development can be done in a losing season, which is the opposite of what happened in Charlotte.

LaMelo may still be playing in Lithuania

Ball is basically left to fend for himself, with the most miserable of lame ducks coaches and there is no second banana. It should come as no surprise that he’s putting up the most empty possible 23, 8 and 6, and isn’t really improving so much as just playing more.

Shoots 40 percent from the field in his career – not from three, from the field — and half of his 20 shots are from deep. The team’s other scoring options are Kelly Oubre and Terry Rozier, and between them and Ball, they take nearly 60 attempts per game, hitting just over 40 percent. Additionally, none of the trio is shooting more than 36 percent from three, and they’re making a whopping 26 total per game.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to play on that team, watch those three take turns laying bricks all fucking night. It’s shameful. The Hornets’ offensive rating is last, they are 24th in scoring and don’t play any defense.

Again, it was a bit of bad luck… It’s just very difficult to go from 43 wins to 15, and hope for Victor Wembanyama because he might be the best chance to keep Ball. the situation it’s so crucial for young players, and whether it’s Vic or someone else, they shouldn’t get to Ball runs around the house with a tie on his head and hits children with a wooden spoon.

Speaking of Big Vic

Charlotte fans are praying that lottery balls bounce their way because the front office is embarrassing. It’s a big Frenchman with incredible talent or another chance for Charlotte to show the worst instincts imaginable.

Mitch Kupchak moved Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels for Reggie Jackson and a second-round pick at the deadline. Jackson and Rozier are the same fucking players, and everyone on the roster except Ball should have was available.

The team can, and has, hit rock bottom. The NBA was full of buyers this past week. Why stick with PJ Washington or other trash? See if you can pick or steal the youngster from an eager opponent.

Also, fire Steve Clifford — again. Remember the Seinfeld episode where George starts doing the opposite of his first impulse and his life begins turn? Do. (Unless they get the No. 1 pick, then definitely pick Wembanya.) There’s no way the Hornets would be this clueless.

LaMelo deserves better. North Carolina basketball fans — and hoop players in general — deserve better. People who grew up loving Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues and Alonzo Mourning deserve better.

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