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Installment #17: Bad News for the Hornets

All weekend I have been so amerced in the NCAA tournament, that I have neglected other sports. There are other sports still going on, but this weekend every year, college basketball is on from lunchtime until midnight. So I tend to miss action and news from other leagues.

The Charlotte Hornets for instance, played on Thursday and Saturday night as they are in the midst of another west coast road trip. They are losing bad on this current trip. I mean they have suffered double-digit losses to the Nuggets, the Lakers, and the Clippers since this difficult stretch of games began on Wednesday. Perhaps that is one reason why other than notifications from the Hornets app on my phone, I haven't really been paying attention. The excitement and drama of March Madness is more interesting to me right now than what is going on with my favorite NBA team.

So I ended up missing the troubling news that came down yesterday and didn't find out until this morning. I can't speak for all Hornets fans, but I know that my tentative hopes that had started to develop around the team have been dashed. Today, I found out that the Charlotte Hornets will be without rookie guard LaMelo Ball for the remainder of the season. And so, here we go again with the bad luck and bad news for the Charlotte Hornets, a franchise that at times seems cursed.

LaMelo Ball has a broken bone in his right wrist. The sensational rookie suffered the injury during Saturday night's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. An MRI confirmed the initial diagnosis of a broken bone on Sunday. The Hornets said that Ball would be out indefinitely, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Twitter that he is expected to miss the rest of the season. He has a broken bone in the wrist and there is not much of the NBA season left. Yeah, I'm going with Woj on this one.

For lack of a better term, this news sucks for the Hornets. Since being picked No. 2 overall by Charlotte in last year's draft, LaMelo Ball has surpassed many people's expectations and according to some was the front runner in the Rookie of the Year race. Through 41 games, Ball averaged 15.9 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds a contest. He was connecting on 45.1 percent of his field goals and 37.5 percent of his shots from three-point range, quieting early-season nay-sayers that raised concerns about his shooting ability. The Hornets finished just 23-42 last year and no one was even discussing them. Since LaMelo has arrived in the Queen City, the Hornets are 20-21 and despite the last three defeats, are still well in the thick of the eastern conference playoff race. But then, he gets hurt and so, does the conversation now change?

Melo and others gave Hornets fans and the NBA community something to talk about when you say "Charlotte." Now that he will likely be gone, I'm uncertain about the rest of the season for the team. My ears will be open to see if Charlotte can even make the play-in round now. Through thick and thin though, they're still my boys and I wish them the best.

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