LaMelo Ball’s Need For Speed Led To Lawsuit From 12-Year-Old With A Fractured Foot, But Former Charlotte Hornets Guard Bobby Phills Wasn’t So Lucky

LaMelo Ball has had a rough go of it. He was limited to 22 games in 2024 due to ankle problems. As he tries to get back into the groove and prepare for a great comeback next season, a mother from North Carolina has initiated legal action against the Ball Brother and his Charlotte Hornets franchise. 

The mother, Tamaria McRae, is claiming that Ball drove over the foot of her 12-year-old Angell Joseph so she filed the complaint against Ball and the Hornets, WSOC-TV reported. 

McRae alleges the incident happened in October 2023 at the Spectrum Center, as her son and other fans approached the players as they were leaving the Hornets’ annual Purple and Teal Day.

“[Angell] was like, ‘LaMelo, I love you. I love you, sign my … give me your autograph. Can you sign it for me?’” McRae said in an interview with WSOC-TV.

According to McRae, Ball ran over Joseph to avoid signing autographs. The multi-talented point guard, who averaged 23.9 points per game last season, allegedly accelerated his vehicle suddenly, causing injury to Joseph’s foot, which resulted in a fracture.

“I just saw my son kind of go down and I thought maybe he had dropped something,” McRae said.

What Does LaMelo Ball Lawsuit Claim?

The lawsuit outlines claims of negligence against Ball, citing failure to exercise proper control of the vehicle, failure to yield to a pedestrian, and failure to apply brakes in a timely manner to prevent the incident. The legal action also alleges that the Hornets failed to provide adequate security and pedestrian control measures at the venue, contributing to the incident. The lawsuit, filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court, seeks redress for the damages incurred during the incident.

McRae Says Incident Caused Physical and Mental Challenges 

McRae is claiming that the incident has negatively affected her son physically and mentally. 

“For a while, I couldn’t even recognize who my child was because, like depression, not being able to go outside and play,” she said. “It’s been rough. It’s been really rough. I mean like I’m a strong person. This broke me. This right here, it really did.”

The family’s lawyer, Cameron DeBrun, said missing information from the police report has made it difficult for his clients to file a claim with Ball’s insurance and pay for Joseph’s medical bills.

Back in July, Ball and the Hornets were reportedly finalizing a five-year designated maximum extension worth up to $260 million that would keep Ball in Charlotte through the 2028-29 NBA season. His pockets aren’t hurting.

While this is probably something very unfortunate that goes away with a phat check, the Charlotte Hornets organization can only be relieved that this alleged car incident didn’t result in tragedy like the one that rocked the organization and NBA world twenty-four years ago.  

Charlotte Hornets Guard Bobby Phills Dies In Crash Racing Temmate David Wesley After Practice

After the team’s morning session on Jan. 12, 2000, Charlotte Hornets guards Bobby Phills and David Wesley decided to race home from the Hornets’ facility. It was something that they did often, but this time it ended differently.

Phills lost control of his 997 Porsche 993 Cabriolet and swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with another car, and the consequences were fatal for Phills. He was just 30 years old.

According to Charlotte police, Phills was going 75 miles per hour in his car when the crash occurred. Phills was a fan favorite and team leader whose impact didn’t always show up in the stats sheet.

Over his nine-year career, Phills averaged 11.0 points per game, and he defended the greats of the game, from Michael Jordan to Reggie Miller to Mitch Richmond. His best scoring year came in 1995-96 with the Cavaliers when he dropped 14.6 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting that season. After spending his first six seasons in Cleveland, Phills moved on to the Hornets in 1997, averaging double-digit scoring for three straight seasons.

“This is the ultimate tragedy, and our immediate thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kendall, children, and family,” Hornets owner George Shinn said at the time. “Not only was Bobby a tremendous person, but a great husband, father, and role model that everyone respected and admired. He was someone that you would want your children to be like.”

LaMelo Ball Has History Of Running Red Lights

According to reports, Ball has an assortment of luxury, high-horsepower vehicles and a history of blowing red lights while speeding out of the Hornets’ facility, apparently in a rush and not obeying the laws of the road.

The emotional toll of witnessing her son’s injury is not something another human being can assess. If the 12-year-old’s foot was truly fractured, then the recovery process and the mental anguish of not getting any sympathy from the Ball camp or the Hornets is something they have every right to seek compensation for.  

Hopefully, this is a misunderstanding and not an instance where Ball’s celebrity status got the best of him and forced him to make a great error in judgement. In any event, the fans are what makes the game go round. The young fans become older fans and share their experiences with the next generation.

Peeling out of a parking lot where fans are sure to be frequenting and blowing through red lights at busy intersections can lead to disaster. Melo needs to bring it down a bit and open his cars up on roads designed to accommodate the speed and power of such deadly machines. Grow up a bit.

Part of earning that $260M extension is being available to the young fans, and sometimes that requires taking time out from the many things that that being a star provides you just to be a human being for a couple of extra minutes. Life is too short. Ask Bobby Phills’ loved ones.

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