“The thought of Mike D’Antoni opening up Pandora’s box for LaMelo Ball gets me really excited” - NBA analyst on Mike D’Antoni’s meeting with Michael Jordan, says he’ll get the “popcorn ready”

NBA analyst on Mike D’Antoni’s meeting with Michael Jordan
NBA analyst on Mike D’Antoni’s meeting with Michael Jordan
D'Antoni popularized the small-ball, fast-paced brand of basketball with his seven seconds or less Phoenix Suns.
D'Antoni popularized the small-ball, fast-paced brand of basketball with his seven seconds or less Phoenix Suns.

As we move further into the off-season, Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Hornets have ramped up their search for a new head coach. They fired James Borrego in April.

Former NBA player Jay Williams, on ESPN's "Keyshawn, JWill & Max," talked about the prospect of D'Antoni coaching LaMelo Ball, a flashy young player. Williams said:

"The thought of Mike D'Antoni opening a Pandora's box for LaMelo Ball gets me really excited.

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"I'll be honest, some teams, Mike D'Antoni's not a good fit there, but in Charlotte, the way LaMelo Ball plays, this year averaging 20 points, seven-and-a-half assists per game, he's a willing passer, he gives you hockey-assists, he's a prolific scorer.
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"The way he can open up the offense and speed up the tempo of the game, I'm just trying to telling you, I'm getting my popcorn ready, if that happens, I'm already a Charlotte Hornets fan to a degree because of LaMelo Ball, I will be a bigger Charlotte Hornets fan."

The Charlotte Hornets' search for a new head coach has been narrowed down to two contenders. The first is Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, and the second is Mike D'Antoni, former head coach of the Houston Rockets.

As reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael Jordan and the Hornets will meet Atkinson on Tuesday. The meeting with D'Antoni is scheduled for later in the week.

Michael Jordan's Hornets have struggled in his tenure

Michael Jordan, left, and Dwight Howard, right.
Michael Jordan, left, and Dwight Howard, right.

Michael Jordan initially acquired controlling interest in the Charlotte Hornets in 2010. The Hornets were still known as the Charlotte Bobcats, and starting with the 2014-15 season, the Charlotte Hornets came into existence.

Since the change, the Hornets have made the playoffs once, in the 2015-16 season. This was on the backs of acquisitions such as Jeremy Lin, Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb in 2015. The run ended in a first-round exit.

After Kemba Walker's exit in 2019, the ray of hope for the Hornets became the 2020 NBA Draft. The Charlotte Hornets drafted LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick in the draft, with Ball winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2021.

LaMelo Ball took the Hornets to their first winning record in 2022 since the 2015-16 season. They only narrowly missed the playoffs, losing the play-in game to the Atlanta Hawks.

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Edited by Adam Dickson
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