Charlotte Hornets’ star LaMelo Ball was well on his way to being the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year. The number two overall draft pick was averaging 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game and had the Charlotte Hornets sitting at 8th place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Unfortunately, Ball suffered a fractured wrist in a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night that is expected to sideline him for the rest of the season according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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D’Angelo Russell Sends Controversial Tweet
After the news came down that Ball would be out for the rest of the season, Minnesota Timberwolves guard and former Brooklyn Nets‘ All-Star D’Angelo Russell chimed in on who he felt should be the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year now that Ball is done for the season. His choice is his teammate and number one overall draft pick Anthony Edwards.
Given the timing of the tweet, as it came shortly after Ball’s season-ending injury was announced, the former Net landed himself in some extremely hot water.
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D-Lo’s Social Media Antics Had Him in Hot Water Before
This is not the first time that Russell’s social media antics have gotten him in trouble. During his rookie season in 2016, Russell filmed his former Lakers teammate Nick Young admitting to cheating on his ex-fiancée’, Australian Rapper Iggy Azalea.
The video, which was originally just supposed to be a prank, was made public after Russell’s Snapchat account was reportedly hacked. The incident drove a wedge between Russell, Young and the rest of the Lakers as the team reportedly began to isolate themselves from the rookie guard for the rest of the season. This eventually led to Russell being traded from the Lakers to the Brooklyn Nets in 2017.
Anthony Edwards Has Strong Rookie of the Year Case
Despite the poor timing of Russell’s tweet, there is some truth to what he is saying. Although the Timberwolves are 10-32 Edwards is statistically having one of the best seasons amongst rookies. On the year he is averaging 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.
Edwards also joined some elite company during the Timberwolves matchup with the Phoenix Suns on Friday as he netted a career-high 42 points. ‘Ant Man’ joined the ranks of Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony as the youngest players to score 40 points in a game. Edwards is also the first teenager to score 100 points in a three-game span.
Injuries Have Plagued the NBA This Year
Ball is just the latest injury that has plagued the NBA this year. Some notable names that have been out for an extended period this season include Anthony Davis, Durant, Joel Embiid, and most recently LeBron.
Whether the short turnaround to the NBA season is to blame for the massive number of injuries this year has yet to be confirmed. One fact remains though, the league is suffering without some of their biggest stars being able to play.