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LaMelo Ball Put Asses In The Seats For His NBL Debut And Made A Little History Along The Way

NBL Rd 1 - Illawarra v Brisbane

(Yahoo Sports) – So far, the LaMelo Ball business has been very, very good for Australia’s National Basketball League.

The youngest Ball brother made his NBL debut with the Illawarra Hawks on Saturday and looked like what you would expect from a potential No. 1 overall pick. The viewership for the game matched those expectations.

The Hawks’ first game of the NBL season against the Brisbane Bullets was the most-watched game in league history with more than one million viewers tuning in via live stream on Facebook, the league told Forbes’ Adam Zagoria.

The social media numbers were even strong, with a video of a Ball crossover drawing 2.6 million views for a league that rarely sees five digits for other highlights. The NBL’s Instagram account has reportedly doubled since last season’s opener, with average engagement up 250 percent on Facebook and 340 percent on Twitter.

You can hate him if you want, but there is no denying that LaMelo Ball is one of the more intriguing prospects in recent memory. People largely made up their mind about him due to his family and all that nonsense which is stupid, but it’s also that same fame that plays a role in his debut being the biggest in NBL history. Sort of a catch 22 situation. It also doesn’t hurt that he can ya know, actually hoop

Say what you want about the NBL, but it’s a legit league and LaMelo has done nothing but impress as an 18 year old every time we’ve seen him play. You may remember some of his earlier highlight reels

and the more we see from him the more it makes sense that he’s rising up NBA Draft boards. In his debut, it’s impressive not just that he did a little bit of everything as a teenager, but that he also didn’t turn the ball over. You have to think if LaMelo was playing like this for a blue blood this season he’d rightfully be considered the best prospect of his class so I don’t think it’s out of line that the same thing is happening now that he’s in the NBL. If anything it should strengthen his case for being a top 3 pick. If your job is to project what he might develop into one day as an NBA point guard, imagine what he could do if he adds like 20 pounds of muscle once he’s in an NBA program. The LaMelo we see at like 20 or 21 is going to be so much better than what we see now and what we see now is pretty exciting. The vision is there, the feel for the game is there, the size is there, the basketball IQ seems to be there, if he can prove he can defend at the next level (which he’s clearly already working on)

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then he’s going to make a high lottery team very happy.