LaMelo Ball has a strong aversion to the No. 2.
So it's odd that the Charlotte Hornets All-Star wore the number on his jersey for the first two seasons of his NBA career. He won't moving forward. The Athletic's Shams Charania reports that Ball has been granted approval to switch to No. 1 starting next season.
Why the switch? Let Ball explain. Here he is during his season-ending news conference in April:
LaMelo Ball told us during exit interviews in April his jersey change from No. 2 to No. 1 should be official for the upcoming season. Now it is.
“I ain’t supposed to wear No. 2 ever again in my life. I promise you. If I see a No. 2 I don’t know what I’m going to do.”@MELOD1P pic.twitter.com/lVPfmU9afY
— Ashley Stroehlein (@ashstro) July 18, 2022
"I ain't supposed to wear 2 ever again in my life," Ball told reporters. "I promise you. If I see a 2, I don't know what I'm gonna do for real. I ain't gonna lie to you. ...
"I ain't never been 2. It's just weird out there, for real. It just don't feel like you're playing for real. I don't know who this is. I don't know who No. 2 is."
Why Ball didn't wear No. 1 from the start
Ball wore No. 1 his entire career prior to joining the Hornets — in high school, AAU, Lithuania and Australia. So why exactly did he wear No. 2 during his first two seasons in Charlotte?
When he arrived, Malik Monk was a Hornet and claimed No. 1 for himself. Monk left the Hornets to play for the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Per Charlotte's WCNC, Ball applied to switch numbers upon Monk's exit last offseason, but missed a deadline. He didn't make that mistake twice.
So No. 1 was claimed, but the question remains: Why did he wear No. 2 if he loathes it so much? Or does any number that isn't No. 1 elicit the same disdain? Also, if No. 2 is so vile, what does that say about Ball's thoughts on his brother Lonzo?