Having just turned 17 and having expectations and global spotlight increase on him over the last 2 years Lamelo Ball is destined for the NBA, and possibly greatness. But first he will have to learn how to be bigger than the moment and the game, he is not just an ordinary player out on the court. That is why when he decided to strike #22 (Blank) of the Lithuanian team DS (fill) with a quick slap to the face in response to a light slap on the head that Melo received from the young man that sparked the reaction out of the real Melo. And the reason I’m now calling him the real Melo is the fact he slapped the opposing player with no respect for him or his family, and then stepped forward fists raised ready to fight. You can watch the clip below. ↓↓↓
As you can see in this clip, Lamelo while out of bounds with how he addressed the situation given his stature and the teams need for him to be available to have a chance to win he did show no sign of backing down and at only 17 playing against a team full of men into their mid-20’s and early 30’s he was ready on and off the court for whatever they could throw at him, but thankfully for both him and the JBA USA squad there won’t be any suspensions handed out like when Carmelo Anthony (or now known as ”The Old Melo”) was a part of this NBA brawl. ↓↓↓
Carmelo did throw a punch instead of a slap, but then wanted no part of what was to come after. For those wondering why Lamelo slapped him instead of punching him there it’s because thee Lithuanian player slapped him on the back of the head, so he gave him a slap in return because he wasn’t about to be disrespected in that manor. However, after the instance Lavar grilled Melo for his decision and the team’s decision to clear the bench. That they are representing the Untied States and JBA and need to act accordingly, Lamelo will learn from this and will hopefully realize players will now be trying to taunt him out of games. Look for Melo to bounce back in their next game October 4th and be looking to make a statement with not just his play on the court but his demeanor.
This wasn’t a good look for the league and was the first-time major media decided to cover the league in anyway, and they didn’t even focus on the score or any of the basketball being played just a short clip of a heated exchange between two players who didn’t want to back down. While the JBA team lost that game and a 15-point lead after the ejection they are going to build on this as a team and get better in their chemistry across the board. Having only played in a handful of games together against pros who have size, experience, and age the youthful USA squad will be clicking on all cylinders by the time this international tour is over.