I felt 70 percent confident that LaMelo Ball would be the best NBA player in this draft class—don’t sleep on anyone 6-foot-6 who can handle and pass like that, don’t overstate the shooting woes—but my belief has ratcheted up to 98 percent after seeing this poem he composed as a child. If you read the four lines above, how could you ever stop? How could you ever doubt that this man sees the world, much less the court, a little differently?
Here is the masterpiece in full:
Each stanza of this poem sees young Ball wrestle with an epistemological question, which he resolves with his potent verb choice: “I wonder if ghost are real” / “I feel that angels are real” / “I say god is real.” Meanwhile, tacos are made, dunks are pretended, family members die, F-grades loom. Through it all, we are reminded time and again of that foundational truth: “I am athletic and awesome.”
The work has only taken on more force since we saw the poet’s dreams thwarted on Wednesday. LaMelo Ball wished “to be an the NBA,” but was instead drafted by the Charlotte Hornets.