Monday’s contest between the Trail Blazers and Hornets placed Carmelo Anthony and LaMelo Ball across from each other for the first time in a NBA matchup. Individually, Ball’s 30-point outing allowed him to finish a single point in front of Anthony’s 29-point performance.
After the game, Anthony opened up about the Ball’s emerging national profile and the name that they share.
Carmelo Anthony clearing the air on the Melo controversy with LaMelo Ball:— AJ McCord (@AJ_McCord) March 2, 2021
"I vouched for it, he can do it"<-on LaMelo doing 3 to the dome celly
"It's an honor for him to have that name for him to embrace it. It's a blessing, it's a respect thing for me"<-on LaMelo going by Melo pic.twitter.com/CgL1PK6UXO
Ball is averaging 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game in his debut season with the Hornets. That output has placed Ball out in front of the pack for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award.
After the game, Ball and Anthony marked the occasion by exchanging jerseys.
The Blazers and Hornets cross paths again on April 18 in Charlotte.