Bismack Biyombo not surprised by immediate success of ‘little brother’ LaMelo Ball

Jacob Rude
·3 min read

Bismack Biyombo heard about the short clip floating around the internet following the end of the Hornets-Pelicans game on Friday. In it, a joyful LaMelo Ball is shown celebrating Charlotte’s win before turning to Biyombo, who gives the rookie a shove as the two jostle before continuing with post-game pleasantries with teammates and opponents.

To some, it looked like previously unspoken tension boiling over between the two. Biyombo, though, couldn’t help but laugh when asked about it on Monday.

“We actually laugh about it because it’s funny for the media,” Biyombo said, “they would take that and they would transform it into whatever they want to transform it into. But for us, we know what it is so it’s like ‘Do we really have to talk about this?’

“That’s my little man. We always have fun. I think even last game, we were talking like ‘You see, we have to stop playing too much. People taking it a little too far.’ But I think for us at the same time, we just show how close we are, you know?”

Biyombo and Ball’s relationship is nothing new as the veteran big man quickly took the rookie guard under his wing in the preseason. That bond showed itself on the court in the preseason and has not waned in the regular season, regardless of how many out-of-context 30-second videos may be shared.

Their relationship is also indicative of one of the strongest aspects of the Hornets this season in their chemistry.

“You see we are playing, trusting each other, we play with each other on and off the court,” Biyombo said. “I think that’s the biggest part for us of our success is just that everybody gets along. There’s no ego, you know what I mean? And that goes a long way as we continue to grow and head in that direction. Everybody respects each other, but we still have fun with each other. And I think that’s a big part.

But, again, it’s my little brother and I think we have fun and that’s the most important thing,” he continued on Ball. “We’re continuing to grow and helping the team win and at the end of the day everybody’s goal is to try to win a ball game.”

The wins have started to pile up this season with Charlotte winning three straight following a weekend sweep of the Pelicans and Hawks. Ball has had more than a helping hand in those games, flirting with a triple-double on Friday before notching one on Saturday, becoming the youngest player in league history to record one.

Biyombo, though, is not surprised by how quickly Ball has taken to the league. On Monday, he reiterated a point made early in the season of Ball’s experience playing professionally previously having a big impact on his success.

“I think I said it earlier (in the season), I think that he was able to go overseas and become a pro at an early age and then coming into the league, it’s an easy transition,” Biyombo said. “But obviously, it’s not surprising and I think is going to continue to improve. It’s going to continue to play better. But he’s just a fun kid. He’s happy, he works hard and he listens so you can only expect great things from him.”

Ball’s success has been paramount in the Hornet’s success in their three-game win streak. But if he steps out of line, his big brother Biyombo will be certain to get him right back in order.