Wednesday, June 16

LaMelo Ball NBA draft drama starts with interview rumor – New York Post

LaMelo Ball knew teams would have questions about him.

Now it’s a matter of deciphering whether his answers to them are raising legitimate concerns or if teams are just trying to send out a smoke screen.

Ball, who has been widely projected as a top-five pick in November’s draft, has not exactly been acing his interviews with teams, according to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell.

“Here is what I’m hearing from the league at large: LaMelo Ball is not performing very well at job interviews,” Bonnell said Wednesday on Sports Radio WFNZ in Charlotte. “I’ve heard that from multiple sources. He is not improving his perception via job interview. There are people drafting later in the top 10 who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around.

“And I’m not saying that he will not be a top-three pick. I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top 10 who are doing more research on him, because they no longer think it’s a given he will.”

LaMelo Ball
LaMelo BallGetty Images

The point guard reportedly met with the Timberwolves, who own the No. 1 pick, on Thursday. ESPN reported it was Ball’s first face-to-face meeting, with an interview with the Warriors (No. 2 pick) scheduled for next week and others with the Hornets (No. 3 pick) and Bulls (No. 4 pick) also expected to come. Ball has talked with other teams virtually.

Getting a gauge on Ball has been difficult after he averaged 17 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists on 37.5 percent shooting in 12 games last year with the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League.

Ball said in September he had spoken with the Knicks, with whom his controversial father, LaVar, said he would be a “perfect fit.” The Post’s Marc Berman has reported that Ball is the No. 1 point guard on the Knicks’ draft board. The Knicks select at No. 8.

The 19-year-old Ball also acknowledged that teams wanted to get to know the real him.

“I feel like (teams are) trying to get to know me because there’s a whole lot of stuff out there that doesn’t really, you won’t even know if it’s me or not,” Ball said. “So pretty much just getting to know me, I feel like. All the stuff in the media, how I am, they just want to know.”

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