Charlotte Hornets star point guard LaMelo Ball is being forced by the NBA to cover up a tattoo on his neck.
LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets have been a bit up and down so far on the 2023-24 NBA season. Although Ball continues to produce at an All-Star level, stuffing the stat sheet with eye-popping numbers on a seemingly nightly basis, the Hornets haven’t been able to translate his stardom into many wins, as the team currently sits at 3-7 on the young campaign.
Recently, it was announced that in order to avoid amassing fines, Ball will be required by the NBA to cover a tattoo on his neck that features the letters LF, short for LaFrance, his middle name as well as the name of his clothing brand, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Now, the league is speaking out on the decision.
“Per the [collective bargaining agreement], players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair during games,” said NBA spokesman Tim Frank, per ESPN. “We try to enforce the rule reasonably, in accordance with its purpose, and taking into account players’ efforts to express themselves in a non-commercial manner. But LaMelo Ball’s neck tattoo is in obvious violation of the rule and, accordingly, he’s required to cover it.”
Tattoo controversies aside, LaMelo Ball has been very solid so far on the 2023-24 season, recording averages of 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 8.6 assists for the Hornets in addition to shooting a very respectable 36.6 percent from three point range. Still, he probably needs a bit more help around him in order to get Charlotte into the playoff picture.