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Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball shared his thoughts on the officiating during the Nov. 29 game between the Hornets and the Chicago Bulls.
Monday night was a big night for the Ball brothers, who faced one another in Chicago at the United Center. Reigning NBA rookie of the year LaMelo Ball and his Charlotte Hornets took on the Bulls, the latest team employing older brother Lonzo Ball.
While both Ball brothers contributed to their teams significantly during the game, it was Lonzo who came away with the 133-119 win. Feeling frustrated, LaMelo turned to referee Tony Brothers and informed him that he would excel as an NBA referee.
“I’mma be a ref when I’m done hooping, and show y’all how to ref,” Ball yelled during one point in the game.
LaMelo Ball has early plans to become an NBA ref after retirement
Although basketball players frequently lament over poor officiating, few players have actually gone on to become official NBA referees following their careers on the court.
Thus far, only three former NBA players have become referees in the league: Leon Wood, Haywoode Workman and Bernie Fryer.
Of course, the youngest of the Ball brothers and the future of the Hornets organization was likely not planning his future career. Instead, it was rather just a moment of frustration that bled into a hilarious exchange with Brothers and the officiating crew.
Even if he does plan to don a whistle at some point, LaMelo is a long way from becoming an NBA ref: he just won Rookie of the Year in 2020. But if the younger Ball is truly interested in taking over the mantle once his NBA career is over, it’s something that the league is certain to welcome.