Earlier this offseason, NBA insider Shams Charania announced that Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball would change his jersey number from No. 2 to No. 1.
On Friday, this exchange was formalized.
The Hornets Twitter account posted a series of photos showing Melo in his brand new No. 1 jersey.
“Always been 1 on 1,” the team wrote.
Ball rose to fame in basketball with a No. 1 jersey. He rocked the numbers as a teenage prodigy for Chino Hills High School and as a foreign professional in Lithuania.
The All-Star point guard was forced to change his number when he entered the NBA as the third overall pick in the 2020 draft. When he arrived in Charlotte, Malik Monk – who now plays for the Lakers of Los Angeles – was already No. 1.
“I’m not supposed to wear number 2 in my life anymore,” Ball said. The Associated Press in April.
The NBA world took to Twitter to react to the number change.
“Feels good,” one wrote.
“LETS GOOOO 1 IS BACK,” said another.
“Finally now I can copy the shirt,” added another.
Ball followed his rookie of the year season with an even better year in 2021-22 – while wearing the No. 2 jersey. Last season, he averaged 20.1 points, 7.6 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game.
“I feel like number 1 is just me, so I just want to be me there,” Ball added. “Playing No. 2 doesn’t feel right. I mean last year was cool because my brother, I said I’d be No. 2 for him because he’s not playing his year rookie or whatever, I think he got hurt or something, so I wore number 2 for him, but it’s not okay.”
Ball’s Hornets No. 2 jersey ranked in the top 15 sales throughout the 2021-22 season. As one of the most exciting rising stars in the league, his No. 1 shirt will no doubt do some serious numbers in Year Three.