The star point guard has all the audacity of his outspoken (and polarizing) father -- if you recall, LaVar Ball has long insisted he would beat Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1 -- but he has the game to back it up.
When MJ's Hornets took a chance on the effervescent LaMelo with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, the selection didn't come without naysayers. Would his dad be too much of a distraction? Would the now 19-year-old be coachable? Would his success in Lithuania really translate to the NBA?
Of course, all of the above questions will prove moot if he can grow into a bonafide superstar and lead Charlotte to its first NBA title. So far, the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year is on the right track -- a "track" that is distinctly LaMelo.
In a wide-ranging interview with GQ magazine, Ball provided some interesting insight into how he views his life and journey to the association. Here are the five most LaMelo things he said:
On how his fate was preordained:
"My whole life, I always knew I was going to the NBA. I always knew. Everything about this felt normal to me. I knew I'd have stardom. I grew up into it. I already had my life planned out. My whole life, I thought I was the star. ... I ain't even gonna say I'm a rock star. It's something other than that. I'm something rare."
On skipping college to play overseas:
"We not trippin' off school. We not dumb. We know how to learn. We don't need school. And school not even teachin' you s---, what the f--- is school?"
On how he impacts his teammates:
"Like getting infected. It's a whole different swagger and everything. ... Ya feel me?"
On his mantra:
"Everybody always asks me what's my slogan -- kids, old people, adults. Two words, breh: Be you. Because if you ain't you, you being somebody else and you already f----- up from the jump. So now whatever you trying to do, it ain't never you. ... You just gotta be you from the jump, and whatever supposed to happen gonna happen. But if you ain't you, you already lost. That's a fact. That's a big fact!"
Catchphrases he uses to describe himself:
"Something you've never seen, "one of one," "rare," "the golden child" and "not from here."