LaMelo Ball is a good and fun young player. This is indisputable unless you do not like basketball or hate fun. He's the otherworldly passer that was promised coming into draft night this past fall, an absolute wizard who plays with the type of flair only a 20-year-old used to reality television can muster.
Last night, he and the Charlotte Hornets faced off against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. It was a great game that saw the Hornets emerge victorious. Ball had 22 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
He also made three three-point shots. The effectiveness of his long-range jumper was the only serious question about Ball coming into the league, and he's proven everyone mostly wrong as he's shooting 35 percent from deep this year. The shot still looks weird, but it's working. After making one of those three-point shots, he pointed a trio of fingers at his head a la Carmelo Anthony. And hoo boy did Warriors color guy Kelenna Azubuike not like that one bit.
So, I mean, yeah, it would be more fun for this Melo to have his own thing. Creativity matters and all that good stuff. But also, that particular three-point celebration is extremely cool and Ball grew up with it as one of the most popular celebrations to break out because Carmelo was, at one time, a cultural movement in of himself.
This also comes on the heels of the whole "Who's the real 'Melo?" debate that consumed basketball Twitter discussions for a bit. Which was as silly as this discussion is. Carmelo is the only player who is as known for being called Melo as anything else. LaMelo can be called Melo as a nickname, but it'll be two decades before you encounter someone outside of Charlotte who immediately thinks of LaMelo Ball when you say Melo. LaMelo is not threatening Carmelo's legacy by adopting Melo or the celebration, which is what feels like this is all about.
Let LaMelo do cool stuff. Who cares about anything else?