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LaMelo Ball’s Short-term Struggles are Setting Him up for Long-term Success

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LaMelo Ball played his fifth official professional game yesterday for BC Vytautas and the results were less than stellar. In only 8 minutes of action, LaMelo registered zero points and two turnovers. The word obviously is getting out that LaMelo is exceptionally talented, and professional basketball players in general have a ton of pride and do not want to be outplayed by a 16-year-old. This was on full display as Siauliai point guard Donatas Sabeckis set the tone early by picking LaMelo up full court and giving him elbow and shoulder shots any chance he could.

The results are far from favorable in this last contest, but this is exactly what he needs to get better. Flashback to last year when LaVar Ball received immense criticism for suggesting he desired the proverbial target opposing players would place on his oldest son Lonzo. His rationale was brilliant in theory as his statement, while speaking with ESPN’s Scoop Jackson was, “How [do] you think he gone get better if they don’t come harder?” This holds true for LaMelo especially as he is technically supposed to be playing against teenagers who by and large will never reach the heights he is destined to go. Having these prideful, grown professional men target you every single game is only going to do one of two things for LaMelo: 1) Make him step up to the challenge, or 2) back down and give up.

Being that he’s bred from the Ball way, I expect LaMelo to embrace this. Coach Seskus did the right thing by sitting him the entire second half as LaMelo still has tons to learn about preparation and competing at a much higher level. The constant battle to rise to the occasion is something he would never be forced to do while averaging 50 points a game at Chino Hills High School.

Now, and with this opportunity, he is forced to mature and conform into being a professional. He may take more bumps and bruises along the way, but they are only preparing him for greatness in the long run.

Brandon Williams is the Editor in Chief for Fresh Sports TalkYou can follow him on Twitter @TalkinWithFresh, or “Like” him on Facebook.

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