Sport Carmelo Anthony approves of LaMelo Ball taking 'Melo' nickname, 3-point celebration
NBA awards odds: LaMelo Ball is a star and he's crushing the rookie of the year race
The Minnesota Timberwolves probably have some regrets. Ball has been fantastic for the Charlotte Hornets, who took him with the third overall pick. Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman, the first two picks of the draft, have had their moments but they have not been as impactful as Ball. If you track the betting market to project who is favored to win the major awards, you can have only one takeaway: The NBA rookie of the year race is over. Ball is going to win, barring a crazy turn of events. LaMelo Ball the clear ROY favorite Ball is an overwhelming -400 to win NBA rookie of the year at BetMGM. Things can change. Ball could get injured.
The great "Melo" debate of 2021 is finally over.
After the Trail Blazers' 123-111 win over the Hornets on Monday night, Portland forward Carmelo Anthony ended theabout his status as the true "Melo" of the NBA, telling reporters that it's perfectly fine for anyone to use the nickname when referring to Charlotte rookie LaMelo Ball. Anthony and Ball showed their respect for each other with a jersey exchange on the floor after the game.
Melo ???? Melo
Respect.— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest)
Anthony added that Ball is free to use his signature 3-point celebration. After making a shot from beyond the arc, Anthony typically taps the side of his head three times with three fingers. Ball does a similar celebration, though Anthony noted that he only does one tap.
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"I think LaMelo is somebody who is gonna be in this game for a long time," Anthony said. "So the name 'Melo,' you guys might as well continue getting used to that or stay with it. I don't get into that, though. For me, it's a respect thing. It's an honor for him to have that name, for him to embrace it, for him to do the celebration. It's an honor. It's a blessing. It's a respect thing for me. I embrace him."
Carmelo Anthony clearing the air on the Melo controversy with LaMelo Ball:
"I vouched for it, he can do it"<-on LaMelo doing 3 to the dome celly
"It's an honor for him to have that name for him to embrace it. It's a blessing, it's a respect thing for me"<-on LaMelo going by Melo— AJ McCord (@AJ_McCord)
Ball may become the main "Melo" in the near future, but Anthony isn't done just yet. The future Hall of Famer scored a team-high 29 points off the bench against the Hornets, shooting 10 of 19 from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Ball, meanwhile, had a game-high 30 points to go with eight assists, six rebounds and four steals.
LaMelo now first among rookies in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, PER, BPM (top 40 in NBA), 3rd in 3PTM on 36.7%. Turns 20 this summer.— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass)
No wonder there is so much "Melo" admiration going around.
Rookie Rankings: Hornets' LaMelo Ball sits atop his class entering All-Star break .
With the first half in the books, the 2020 draft class has proved to be better than expectedHowever, that switch away from fielding a whole team full of rookies meant that there would be some notable snubs left off both rosters, which is exactly what happened this season. Rookies like Immanuel Quickley, Saddiq Bey, Desmond Bane and Patrick Williams were all left off the list, and while it's completely understandable given that Team USA is absolutely stacked, it's still unfortunate that some rookies who have been great in the first half of the season won't get that honor.