Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford made it known in his Monday exit interview that in order for the club to have LaMelo Ball in the long run, they urgently need to win more games.
“He badly wants to win,” Clifford said, per Associated Press. “… When you’re at his level, there are certain expectations. You’re going to be compared to the other point guards his age that have had not incredible playoff success but have had some.
“It’s important to his career.”
Ball, the franchise’s centerpiece, is yet to feel the grinding playoff atmosphere. After being drafted by the Hornets as the second overall pick in the 2020 Draft, the star guard succumbed to back-to-back Play-In defeats for both 2021 and 2022.
When asked about Clifford’s comments, Ball can only agree with his head coach that winning has been a priority.
“For sure. The main thing is winning,” Ball said. “Life if better when you win.”
Amid the Hornets’ lack of success, now holding the league’s longest playoff drought of seven-straight seasons, Ball admitted that he remains committed to the franchise. But he went on to provide a sketchy follow-up about his future with the team.
“I love it here,” said Ball. “I can’t really tell the future. We’ll just see how it goes and go from there.”
Heading to the lottery this year as they are holding the fourth-worst record in the league at 27-55, Charlotte is poised to land another promising talent.
But in terms of the competitive standpoint and prioritizing Ball’s demand to contend, they have to be aggressive on the market and surround him with complementary pieces.