Austin Rivers criticizes Hornets for targeting ‘problem’ players, not helping LaMelo’s development

The Charlotte Hornets may be assembling a nice young core with LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller, but the Hornets franchise has not exactly brought in players that Ball and company can look up to as models of good behavior. This offseason the Hornets brought back Miles Bridges, a player who missed the entire 2022-23 season after facing legal battles over domestic violence, while Kai Jones was guilty of eccentric behavior on social media, going so far as to criticize his teammates. So it is no surprise to see veteran guard Austin Rivers question whether circumstances like these can end up hindering the development of the Hornets’ young core.

“Young people in trouble, Rivers told Pausha Haghighi, according to The Ringer. “What is the standard being set there? It’s not LaMelo’s fault. He just needs help. Surround LaMelo Ball with people who can help him fulfill his potential, not deplete it.”.

Austin Rivers said the burden of being the leader of the Hornets’ team should not fall on LaMelo Ball’s shoulders. Rather, he should focus on being the best version of himself on the court, especially after the huge extension he signed.

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