Michael Jordan has had an incredibly poor track record of drafting players, including Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison, and Cody Zeller, to the point that “The Goat” is regularly considered one of the worst owners in the NBA. And with the No. 3 draft pick of the 2020 Draft, his streak of luck might have turned around. But expectations might also be running a tad too high for the youngest Ball brother.
During a conversation with The Ringer’s Kevin Clark on Tuesday, the NFL Giants’ Saquon Barkley was asked to name someone he thinks “crushed it this week, it could be [in] any walk of life, your favorite person this week who’s done the best job in any walk of life.” Barkley thought for a second and named LaMelo Ball.
Now, to be fair, LaMelo has emerged as the most NBA-ready of the brothers and is quieting a lot of his critics. One day earlier, he’d made his first start versus the Miami Heat, and the stat line didn’t disappoint.
“[LaMelo]’s a stud, I think he’s gonna be really good,” Saquon said. But then, at around the 5:40 mark, he proceeded to drop the following bomb: “I think he’s kinda like Magic Johnson-ish.”
Kevin couldn’t hide his shock that LaMelo was being named alongside the legendary 5X NBA champion, considered the greatest point guard of all time, and a Top-10 all time player by most basketball experts. And although the lifetime Laker didn’t win Rookie of the Year honors (something for which Ball is still in the running), Magic currently remains the only first-year player to become the Finals MVP. So by playing with the Charlotte Hornets, Ball’s chances at that title are pretty slim.
But for what it’s worth, it looks like he’s doing his part to prove the haters wrong and live up to the lofty comparison. LaMelo’s performance in January earned him the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award. So, does Saquon know something we don’t? Let’s see.