The time has arrived to consider LiAngelo Ball’s future beyond the Charlotte Hornets. After recently waiving LiAngelo Ball, the Hornets’ executive leaders and Steve Clifford have made it unambiguously clear that they do not intend to give Gelo a legitimate chance to secure a roster spot. Although the Hornets gave much hype to Ball’s non-guaranteed contract, the fact Ball received little playing time during the preseason evinces the team’s leaders and Clifford were genuinely uninterested in Gelo.
LiAngelo Ball’s Future in the NBA
Why did the Charlotte Hornets offer LiAngelo Ball a non-guaranteed contract if the organization was not truly interested in him?
The Hornets’ executives know that Gelo has a large following, including 2.9 million Instagram followers. With such a following, the organization would be under constant attack without granting LiAngelo an opportunity to make the Hornets’ roster. LaMelo Ball, his brother, and the top star on the Hornets, desires Gelo to be his teammate, and the team’s executives did not want to make Melo unhappy by not giving his brother an opportunity to secure a roster spot.
LaMelo is not a fool, though. He recognizes whether this was an authentic opportunity for Gelo. It was not.
The Charlotte Hornets’ executives also realize that a vocal LaVar Ball will never stop publicly advocating for LiAngelo until he has an NBA contract. While these executives extended a non-guaranteed contract to Gelo, this is not the contract he and LaVar envisioned.
The non-guaranteed contract Gelo received is a sham, a farce—an attempt to hoodwink, to bamboozle the Ball family and shield the Hornets from attacks by the Ball family’s fans.
Moving forward, LiAngelo should not accept another non-guaranteed contact. If teams value him, they will offer him a traditional contract for at least one year. Such a contract will show far more faith in Gelo than a non-guaranteed contract.
LiAngelo Ball’s future is still bright, and it includes making an NBA roster—no matter what the doubters say.
Steve Clifford’s comments on waiving players
Instead of speaking specifically about Gelo being waived, Steve Clifford spoke in generalities about waiving players. Clifford stated, “Pro sports is about change, adapting to change. Players leave, they become free agents. They come, they go. It’s just part of dealing with part of the job.” At the core of such a statement is cowardice.
Steve Clifford should share with Hornets’ fans why LiAngelo was waived; they desire and deserve to know.