Hornets head coach James Borrego says that LaMelo Ball reminds him of San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili in terms of competitiveness.
LaMelo Ball is perhaps the perfect candidate to be placed in the ‘high risk, high rewards’ category of draft picks during the 2020 NBA Draft. Though he was lauded as being a sound playmaker and a great ball-handler, doubts about his shooting abilities, aggressiveness in the paint, and shot selection lingered in every team’s minds when pondering over selecting him.
The best example of LaMelo Ball’s competitive spirit would his unwillingness to give up even in the final seconds of the game when down 8 against the Sixers. He picked the ball away from Joel Embiid with 12 seconds remaining and drained a 3, in a game that everyone had decided was already over.
With 41 games down the hatch in the 2020-21 NBA season, no one should have any doubts concerning LaMelo Ball’s place in the NBA. He has proven to be a potential franchise-altering centerpiece in Charlotte while helping them enter the Playoff race out East.
His numbers, coupled with the flashy plays are just the perfect mix for what a franchise needs in their young star. LaMelo the only rookie in NBA history to lead all rookies in total points, assists, rebounds, and steals, at the All-Star break.
James Borrego compares LaMelo Ball to Manu Ginobili
Seems as though head coach James Borrego has come around on the Hornets rookie point guard as of late. Borrego said he wouldn’t be giving the starting spot to Ball if he continues to commit careless turnovers. Fast-forward to today and he has some high praise for LaMelo.
“The closest thing that I’ve seen that I’ve been around is Manu Ginobili. Just the ability to make plays off instinct, off competitive spirit. At times, making something out of nothing.”
“They both have that ability. That’s probably the closest thing. They’re different, they don’t play the same position, but they both play with that same spirit and mentality throughout the game.”
The closest thing that I’ve seen that I’ve been around is Manu Ginobili. Just the ability to make plays off instinct, off competitive spirit. At times, just making something out of nothing.
– Hornets coach James Borrego on LaMelo Ball. pic.twitter.com/zzYWsI0j6O
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) March 21, 2021
Borrego knows what he’s talking about when making this comparison as he was a part of the Spurs coaching staff from 2003-10 and witnessed Manu Ginobili’s greatness up close.
The lefty guard was as crafty as ever when moving downhill and Ball has shown flashes of his craftiness as well. At the pace Melo is developing at, he may even turn out to be better than Ginobili when it’s all said and done.