If LaMelo Ball has any nerves about facing LeBron James and the defending champions, he isn’t showing them yet.
The Lakers will next be facing a Hornets team on the come-up at the Staples Center. Melo is a product of the Los Angeles basketball scene, and he would have loved to face the Lakers with his family watching.
Unfortunately for him and for everyone concerned, the Covid situation in California has put paid to those hopes. LaVar Ball and co will be watching the game from their Chino Hills home. Melo let everyone know that his family should still be cool with it.
“Obviously you want your family to come see you, and then growing up, they always watched me, so it would kind of be like going in the past. I mean, I know my people. They’ll be cool watching it on TV, too.”
“We really like chilling at the house, more with the comfortable stuff other than being out. Like, I honestly would rather watch a game at home, chilling, than going to one.”
LaMelo Ball opens up about facing LeBron James for the first time
Like any other rookie of his age, Ball has barely known any iteration of the NBA without the looming figure of LeBron. But Melo, unlike his counterparts, does not seem fazed even one bit at the prospect of facing James:
“I mean, nah. I grew up a little different. Not really on basketball like that. So, not really,” the 19-year-old Ball said Tuesday when asked if he’s excited to face James for the first time. “It will still be cool … but I go to every game with the same approach: going in to try to get a win.”
LaMelo Ball ‘not really’ excited about facing LeBron James for first time on Thursday
“I grew up a little different. Not really on basketball like that.” https://t.co/E5JJ3QmAVz
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 17, 2021
Melo can show all the bravado he wants to, but deep down, he knows that James and co will provide the ultimate test for his team’s playoff hopes. They’re on a good run right now, but the second half of the season is the real deal.