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Former NBA All-Star Out for Rest of Season Due to Injury

Jan 19, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; A detailed view of the shoes of Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (1) during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has officially been ruled out for the remainder of the 2023-24 NBA season due to an ankle injury. Ball had already been out since January 26. In 22 games played this season, Ball averaged 23.9 points (career-high), 5.2 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Unfortunately for Ball and the Hornets organization, this is not the only time his season has been cut short due to an injury. Last season, Ball missed the last 19 games due to an ankle injury.

With an 18-54 record, the Hornets currently stand as the third-worst team in the Eastern Conference and fourth-worst in the entire NBA. Losing their leading scorer for the rest of the season is a big blow.

Former NBA All-Star Out for Rest of Season Due to Injury

LaMelo Ball is a Franchise Cornerstone

After the Hornets drafted him third overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, Ball took home the Rookie of the Year award. During the 2021-22 season, where he played a career-high 75 games, Ball made it to the All-Star team. Despite his injury concerns, Ball has the workings of a star in the NBA. The 22-year-old has become more polished as his career has progressed, and there is a reason the Hornets are so high on him. Last year, the team signed Ball to a 5-year, $260 million max contract extension. Furthermore, late last year head coach Steve Clifford spoke highly of Ball’s presence on the team:

I think, obviously, our vision for him (Ball) is to be the elite point guard in the league or one of the two or three best point guards in the league, which he obviously has the talent to do. He has the work ethic to do it. One of the things about him is if you’ve been around him, you can’t not like him. He’s like an upbeat guy. He’s always in a good mood. He’s great with his teammates, and he has a real passion and love for the game.

Additionally, Ball has publicly said he enjoys playing for the Hornets. When healthy, the California native is one of the most exciting players in the NBA. Having him on the court provides a major boost to the Hornets. Hopefully, for both sides, he comes back from this injury stronger and better than ever.

The Last Word on LaMelo Ball’s Injury and the Charlotte Hornets

Losing Ball for most of the second half of the season is tough. However, there is a lot to look forward to for Charlotte. Rookie Brandon Miller is having a fantastic season, averaging 17 points per game. Furthermore, 23-year-old Tre Mann has looked like a potential long-term option since the team acquired him at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. Ultimately, they are not a postseason team as it stands. Even so, they have a young and exciting team that should climb through the rankings in the near future.


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