Lonzo Ball is eager to face his brother LaMelo Ball when the Pelicans take on the Hornets on Friday but getting New Orleans back on track is his main concern.
The Pelicans are 4-4 after suffering close back-to-back losses to the Pacers and Thunder while the Hornets ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Hawks on Wednesday improving to 3-5.
MORE: LaMelo beats Luka in Hornets’ beatdown against Mavs
LaMelo was the third overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and the rookie is already pushing for a spot in Charlotte’s starting lineup averaging 12.1 points 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in his first eight league games. .
In his fourth appearance LaMelo had 22 points eight rebounds and five assists in a 118-99 victory over the Mavericks. He became the first rookie to post such a start (at least 20 points eight rebounds and five assists) in his first four league games since Lonzo Ball in 2017 and only the fifth since 1985-86; Kevin Durant Grant Hill and Lloyd Daniels are the others to pull off the feat.
Eight games in his NBA career Lonzo averaged 9.1 points 6.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists in eight starts for the Lakers the last of which saw him fail to score a single point in a loss to the Trail Blazers.
The Pelicans-Hornets game will be broadcast nationally in the United States but Lonzo does not intend to allow a family reunion to undermine larger goals.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s the first time we’ve paired up in a real game but I think it will be an opportunity to get back on track. We’ve lost the last two so we want to turn it around starting tomorrow.” said.
” It’s just about getting the win. It’ll be great to see him out there and everything but he’ll do what he can for his team and I’ll do what I can for my team and go from there.”
When asked if he planned to invite LaMelo over for a trash talk Lonzo added: “No I’ll just play my game. Wherever the coach (Stan Van Gundy) puts me I’ll do my best to get saves for my team and push the break to the other side. “
Despite spending their formative years together Lonzo may be in for a surprise when he finally faces LaMelo having played a minimum of one-on-one during his youth.
” It is not much one against one; however many two against two three against three practically our entire lives” he said.
” One on one I was always a bit big for him. As for playing in the backyard we played three against three almost every day. We always did it and I think you see it in his He is not afraid of anyone. He always has played and it has always been that way for him. “
Lonzo and LaMelo enjoyed a single season as teammates alongside their other brother LiAngelo who reportedly signed a contract to play in the upcoming G League season during high school in Chino Hills in 2015-16. going 35-0 and winning a starte championship. .
” It was a lot of fun. We were undefeated that year. It was the only time we got to play together in high school, and we made the most of it” Lonzo Ball said. ” It was a fun time overall being with them before I set out on my journey, and they followed their paths too.”
While Lonzo Ball spent a year at UCLA before being selected second overall by the Lakers in 2017 LaMelo chose not to play in college.
He turned pro and played in Lithuania and Australia on both sides of his involvement with the Youth Basketball Association a league that was created by his father LaVar Ball to offer an alternative to college.
“Everyone has to find their own way. Obviously I took the more traditional route he didn’t but at the end of the day we both ended up where we wanted to be” Lonzo Ball said.
” The hard work is definitely worth it. It doesn’t matter who you are you set your mind and you can do it. I really believe it. It worked for me for him so that’s what I would say to kid growing up today too.”
Now that the pair are on the same stage Lonzo started ” It just shows that all the hard work paid off … and we both ended up where we wanted to go.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.