What James Borrego said about LiAngelo Ball not making the Charlotte Hornets roster

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The Hornets’ interest in LiAngelo Ball was little more than a summer love.

LiAngelo Ball, one of LaMelo Ball’s two older brothers, became a Charlotte Hornets’ fan favorite during NBA Summer League in Las Vegas during his brief time in teal. But Monday when the Hornets released their 20-man training camp roster, LiAngelo Ball was noticeably absent.

“LiAngelo did a good job in summer league, I can say that,” Hornets coach James Borrego said Monday. “As a basketball coach, I think he did a heck of a job in the time we had him there. What happens now in the future with LiAngelo, I don’t have that answer; I’ll leave that to (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak) to discuss and describe as we go. I like our roster. We have a full 20-man roster ready to go.”

During five games in Las Vegas, LiAngelo Ball averaged 9.6 points and 2 rebounds on 37.5% shooting while playing 17.4 minutes. He was fifth on the team in scoring but 11th in rebounding and 12th (out of 13) in assists with 2, just ahead of center Vernon Carey. Ball committed 3 turnovers.

But his lack of stats didn’t prevent the crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion from reaching their loudest points of the summer whenever he entered a game. Nearly every shot he took was met with the crowd reaction of a player making or missing a game-winner.

“I’m comfortable with LiAngelo and how he played,” Borrego said. “I thought he got better during that period but we have to make certain decisions here, and I’m comfortable with where we’re at. I think that’s more of a question for Mitch to answer.

“I can only speak for what he did on the floor in Vegas, and I thought he performed well and opened eyes and played at a higher level than I expected.”

When LiAngelo’s younger brother LaMelo Ball was asked Monday in his press conference if he was “bummed” if LiAngelo wouldn’t be joining him in training camp, LaMelo said: “I mean, yeah, definitely.” The two brothers are frequent workout partners. But the 2021 NBA rookie of the year didn’t criticize the Hornets’ brass directly. LaMelo also said he had told his brother LiAngelo to “just keep working” in hopes that an NBA team will call.

The Hornets begin training camp Tuesday.

Observer columnist Scott Fowler contributed to this story.

Hornets training camp roster:

No.

Name

Pos.

2

LaMelo Ball

G

5

James Bouknight

G

0

Miles Bridges

F

22

Vernon Carey Jr.

C

27

DJ Carton

G

20

Gordon Hayward

F

9

Wes Iwundu

F

23

Kai Jones

F/C

98

Arnolda Kulboka

F

16

Scottie Lewis

G

11

Cody Martin

F

6

Jalen McDaniels

F

12

Kelly Oubre Jr.

F/G

24

Mason Plumlee

C

14

Nick Richards

F

3

Terry Rozier

G

10

Ish Smith

G

31

Xavier Sneed

F

21

JT Thor

F

25

PJ Washington

F

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