On the bright side, things can only go up for LaMelo Ball.
The No. 3-overall pick in last month’s draft had an NBA debut to forget Wednesday — and had his postgame Zoom hacked — as the Hornets opened the season with a 121-114 loss to the Cavaliers. Ball went scoreless with an 0-for-5 showing from the field to go with three turnovers, three assists, two steals and a rebound in 16 minutes off the bench.
“I told him just to forget this one,” Gordon Hayward said after the game, per the Charlotte Observer. “Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.”
The 19-year-old Ball became the first top-3 pick to go scoreless in his NBA debut since Otto Porter Jr. in 2013, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Ball’s rough night included one third-quarter sequence where he tripped over himself and turned over the ball, immediately stole it back and then had his pocket picked seconds later.
“Disappointed because we didn’t win,” the point guard told reporters during a postgame Zoom call that was disrupted by hackers, per The Athletic. “I don’t really have emotions on the basketball court or anything like that. Just was having an off night and defense was lacking.”
The polarizing prospect also failed to score in his preseason debut, but put up 10 rebounds, four assists and four turnovers that night. He ended up shooting 11-for-42 in four preseason games before posting blanks on Wednesday night, including 0-for-3 from deep.
The Hornets’ starting point guard, Terry Rozier, racked up 42 points, which kept Ball glued to the bench in the fourth quarter.
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