Although Lonzo and LaMelo Ball receive the most attention, LiAngelo Ball’s strength distinguishes him from his brothers. One of the most dangerous acts we can engage in is to compare ourselves to others or compare one person to another. Given this, I hesitate to compare LiAngelo to his brothers, but I desire to employ this comparison to uplift Gelo and not posit one brother as being more talented than the other.
While all three brothers are talented professional basketball players, LiAngelo, standing 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 215 pounds, knows how to use his body to gain an advantage over his opponents on offense and defense that his brothers lack. Gelo has a grown man’s body.
LiAngelo Ball’s Strength is Underappreciated
When one discusses physicality in sports contexts, it is most often associated with football. For example, one undervalued reason the Alabama Crimson Tide has won several national championships under Nick Saban’s leadership is how physical his players have been each season. They pride themselves on being more physical than opposing teams’ players. Just as exhibiting elite physical play is a weapon in football, it is a weapon in basketball.
When Gelo is on offense, he does not simply look to catch and shoot the ball, although he has more than proven he can—as evidenced by the final Drew League game, where he scored 52 points. He relishes engaging in physical contact with defenders, gaining the separation to generate a more favorable shot than the one initially available. As a successful former basketball coach and player, I understand how vital it is to possess the strength to counter a defender’s resistance and employ it to build a formidable resistance on defense.
Investigating Ball’s strength permits one to see his distinctive value.
Physical Play Wins NBA Championships
In “Charlotte Hornets need Gordon Hayward’s leadership,” I contend that “Even though many believe the Golden State Warriors have won their championships by simply employing finesse, this thought could not be further from the truth. Draymond Green and Kevon Looney, to name two players, consistently deliver the pain, the physicality, the team needs to wear down its opponents.”
The Charlotte Hornets can now harness Gelo’s strength to add some toughness the team needs. During training camp, Ball must feature his strength, allowing Steve Clifford to discover how to use it to the team’s advantage. Although LiAngelo needs to bring his best to training camp, Steve Clifford must use his experience to integrate what makes Ball special into the team’s extant repertoire.
A more physical Charlotte Hornets team will engender a more successful Charlotte Hornets team. LiAngelo Ball’s new contract is a positive step in the right direction for the Hornets.