Puma Gave LaMelo Ball $80K Diamond Chain For Making His First All-Star Team, What Will He Get If He Leads The Hornets To The Playoffs?

Charlotte Hornets second year guard LaMelo Ball made his first NBA All-Star appearance this past weekend. Ball reps Puma Basketball, and as reward for being an All-Star, Puma gave him a custom 17-carat diamond pendant worth $80,000. Jeweler to the stars Jason of Beverly Hills was commissioned for the custom piece. If that’s what Ball gets for being an All-Star, what kind of incentives from Puma await if he makes the playoffs?

The 20-year-old budding star is a +2.4 in EPM and is at 50 in eFG percent and 55 in TS percent. The Hornets are currently ninth in the East, and five games out of sixth place, but in the play-in tournament. With 22 games remaining they have some work to do, but have a real chance.

Ball signed with Puma in 2020 as the brand has made waves in the hoops category with some of its recent signings. Members of the Puma basketball family include: DeAndre Ayton, RJ Barrett, Michael Porter Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Breanna Stewart, and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

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Melo’s deal was reportedly for $100 million, including use of the company’s private jet. The special diamond chain for All-Star was a nice perk. Maybe the playoffs mean an even bigger chain or more use of the jet. If Puma has a yacht, maybe Ball could have access to that as well.

It’s all good. As long as Melo makes Puma money he deserves whatever they gave him. That’s how this game works.

His first signature shoe the MB 0.1 dropped in December, and we’ve seen a few colorways since. The theme is a play on Ball being “otherworldly” and a “rare” talent. It’s nice-looking shoe. It will be interesting to see how Puma continues to market the youngest Ball brother.

FiveThirtyEight predicts the Hornets will finish with a record of 40-42 and currently has a 19 percent chance of making the playoffs.

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For the playoffs to be a reality, Ball will have to be his most consistent in these remaining 22 games. His head coach, James Borrego, hopes his time in Cleveland for All-Star weekend was used wisely.

“Have fun, No. 1,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “But, secondly, get around some of these greats — you can’t touch them all but — pick their brain. How do they work? How do they operate? What does work look like for them? I think soaking up some of that knowledge from these greats around him is going to be really important for him as he continues to develop. Melo is 20 and he gets this experience around these men that have done this for years and are still at an extremely high level.”

Ball was a member of Team Durant, and in his locker room alone this weekend were playoff veterans Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton and Rudy Gobert. He had younger guys that have tasted the playoffs and want more like Devin Booker, Trae Young and Ja Morant to look to as well.

Iron sharpens iron, as they say. Anytime you’re around current great players and legends of the game, you have an opportunity to learn and grow as a player.

If Ball and the Hornets make the playoffs this season, what he learned in his first All-Star appearance will likely play a significant part.

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