The day before the 2020 NBA Draft, LaMelo Ball said Tuesday, felt pretty much like any other.
The former Chino Hills High School star and youngest of the high-profile Ball brothers, LaMelo has taken a path never before traveled to the NBA, with stops in Lithuania, Australia and Geneva, Ohio. And, after a whirlwind few years, the flashy 19-year-old point guard seems to have stuck the landing: He’s being projected by many as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday, which will be aired at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are set to pick first for the second time in team history; they’re followed by Golden State, Charlotte and Chicago.
Collectively those four teams are the only ones for whom the 6-foot-7 Ball, a top-notch passer with questionable defensive habits, said he’s worked out.
No part of the process, to hear Ball tell it Tuesday, has caused him to pause and marvel at how successful his roundabout route has been.
“I mean, I’m not gonna lie, it feels like another day right now,” Ball said on a Zoom video conference with reporters. “I’m doing my same stuff.”
The stuff that comprises the routine of a soon-to-be lottery pick, waking up to work out and shoot, and then heading to the gym after breakfast, and again around 6 p.m., with stretching sessions interspersed before a late-night meal and a movie. Then the cycle begins again.
It’s all in line with the type of advice he’s gotten from older brother Lonzo, the New Orleans point guard whom the Lakers picked No. 2 overall in 2017: “Pretty much, just catch a rhythm,” LaMelo said when asked about advice he’s gotten from his older sibling in the NBA.
Not even the approaching, strange spectacle of the virtual draft was going to be enough to disrupt that rhythm, said LaMelo, who hinted that his dreams are bigger than whatever happens Wednesday night.
“It’s what I’m been working for,” he said. “But I know it’s way more after that, so, I’m looking forward to that too.”
LaMelo Ball once scored 92 points in a game as a SOPHOMORE! 😳
— ESPN (@espn) November 16, 2020