Hornets All-Star LaMelo Ball reportedly making long-awaited jersey switch from No. 2

·2-min read

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:

"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."

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 05: LaMelo Ball #2 of the Charlotte Hornets looks on against the Miami Heat during the second half at FTX Arena on April 05, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
LaMelo Ball is done with No. 2. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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?

Nov 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) and Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball (2) hug after the game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
LaMelo and Lonzo Ball have both sported No. 2 in the NBA. (David Banks/Reuters)
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