As a rookie in the NBA, it can be difficult to catch your stride as a member of a new organization. But, first-year Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball seems to have bypassed those growing pains.
Midway through his first NBA season, it seems Ball has already accepted the franchise as family.
When asked about his relationship with team owner Michael Jordan on a video conference Saturday afternoon, Ball shared his nickname for the NBA legend: Unc.
“I call him Unc and stuff. I already feel like that,” the young guard said.
LaMelo says he addresses Michael Jordan as "Unc" when they talk 🤣
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 20, 2021
Selecting Ball with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, MJ clearly saw the star potential that the flashy point guard possesses.
Originally coming off the bench, Ball had a relatively slow start to the season — especially in the scoring department. On his debut night in January the fan favorite went 0-5 (0-3 from three) and scored zero points. Since then though, he’s come into his own as a rising NBA star. Earning a starting role 20 games into the season, Ball now averages 20.1 points, 6.7 assists and 5.2 rebounds over the last 10 games.
As of right now, Ball is considered the heavy odds-on favorite to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year Award — an trophy “Unc” claimed back in 1985.