LaMelo Ball’s absence is getting longer.

Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford spoke about guard Lamar Ball in an official interview with the local media on Monday.

Charlotte is going through a rough patch, sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the second straight year. There was a time when the team was in the play-in tournament and looking for more than just the playoffs, 토토사이트 추천 but the last two seasons have been an injury nightmare.

Along the way, they’ve parted ways with a number of players. This trade deadline alone saw the departures of Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and P.J. Washington, and even Miles Bridges, whose contract expires soon, isn’t guaranteed to stay.

The team has cleaned up its mess and started rebuilding. The centerpiece of the rebuild is ace LaMelo Ball.

After joining Charlotte with the third overall pick in the 2020 draft, Ball impressed in his rookie season, winning Rookie of the Year honors over the likes of Anthony Edwards. He’s produced some spectacular collaborative moments with his teammates, but he’s also shown the ability to score on his own. It’s no wonder he’s been called the future of the franchise.

In his sophomore season, he was named an All-Star. He was labeled as one of the next generation of players who will be responsible for the future of the league beyond Charlotte. He”s also a player whose star power comes from his style of play.

But balls have a fatal flaw. It’s durability. Injuries have plagued Ball since his rookie season, and he has only played 58 games in the last two seasons. That’s barely over 40% of the total. He’s never been immune to the team’s underperformance.

Even this season, Ball has missed more games than he has played. After missing a month and a half at the beginning of the season with a sprained ankle, Ball returned for about a month and a half before suffering another problem with the same area. His last appearance was on Jan. 27 against Houston.

The problem is, there’s no easy way to gauge when Ball will return. According to Clifford, the team’s head coach, Ball hasn’t made any significant progress in his recovery and isn’t ready to play yet.

“LaMelo is doing the same things he was doing two weeks ago,” Clifford said. He’s doing everything the medical staff in Charlotte is allowing him to do and he wants to come back. But he’s not healthy enough to play. I know he wants to come back, but there are just a lot of factors.”

It’s already March, and Charlotte has 22 regular-season games left. Without significant progress, it’s unclear if Ball will even return for the season. He has appeared in 22 games this season, averaging 23.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 8.0 assists.

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