No points? No problem! LaMelo Ball still showed tons of promise for the Charlotte Hornets in his Saturday night debut.
The Charlotte Hornets made a couple of splashy moves this offseason as they hope to find themselves in Eastern Conference playoff contention. One of their most significant moves was drafting the youngest Ball brother, LaMelo Ball, with the third-overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Unlike most American prospects, Ball took his talents overseas instead of joining an NCAA program, despite being a five-star recruit out of Chino Hills, California.
Last year, Ball joined the Illawarra Hawks in Australia and appeared in 12 games on the court. In an average of 31 minutes, Ball averaged 17 points-per-game, 7.4 rebounds-per-game, and 6.8 assists-per-game.
After year one in Australia, Ball declared for the 2020 NBA Draft. Fast-forward to this past Saturday night, and LaMelo Ball officially debuted in the NBA for the first time in a preseason matchup against the Toronto Raptors.
Ball didn’t start for the Hornets, but the 19-year-old phenom picked up 16 minutes of action off the bench. During his limited preseason action, Ball failed to register a single point. When his older brother, Lonzo Ball, drained just two shots in his Summer League debut years ago, the internet roasted the then-Los Angeles Lakers guard.
However, the young Ball did not receive the same treatment. LaMelo Ball might not have scored, but his performance showed tons of promise as he collected ten rebounds and accounted for four assists, which came from a couple of jaw-dropping passes.
LaMelo Ball in his first NBA Game:
0 PTS – 10 REB – 4 AST – 0/5 FGM – 0/3 3PMpic.twitter.com/TkEk5lPXx7
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 13, 2020
As always, it’s difficult to overreact to a single good or bad performance in a preseason debut for a rookie, but LaMelo Ball is just showing the NBA exactly what he’s been doing in every other league he’s played in since rising to stardom years ago.