Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball Posts Embarrassing Record on His NBA Debut

Published 12/23/2020, 11:08 PM EST
Dec 14, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) gets fouled by Toronto Raptors forward Stanley Johnson (5) during the second half at the Spectrum Center. Raptors won 112-109. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports


It looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers took out all their frustrations at not being included in the Orlando Bubble on the Charlotte Hornets. Their ball movement and fast pace cutting through the Hornets’ defense helped them finish the game with a score of 121-114. Despite their win, they still weren’t in the headlines. So who was? That honor went the Hornets newly drafted LaMelo Ball, but it wasn’t for a good reason.

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What was the hype around LaMelo Ball?

Despite being selected after players like James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards in November’s NBA Draft, Ball was still the most talked-about player. This had a lot to do with the unique path he took before joining the league. Playing overseas, he had pit stops in Lithuania and Australia. He did not take the usual halt at a big basketball college like most prospects.

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Dec 14, 2020; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) shoots during the first half against the Toronto Raptors at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Other than that, his brother Lonzo Ball already being in the NBA also created a stir. Also, his father’s flair to be dramatic on various occasions caught everyone’s attention. Unfortunately, he has not been living up to the hype so far.

LaMelo is going nil in his season debut

So far, Melo has shown the potential to develop into one of the best in the league, but his inability to score has sparked some worry. Even in his preseason debut, he ended up adding no baskets. Since the preseason doesn’t make much difference, it wasn’t much of a red flag.

But it looks like his regular-season debut was an even bigger disappointment, and he didn’t bag a single point for himself. According to ESPN Stats and Info, “LaMelo Ball is the first Top-3 pick to score 0 points in his NBA debut since Otto Porter Jr. (2013). The only other Top-3 picks to be held scoreless in their NBA debut over the last 15 seasons are Hasheem Thabeet (2009) and Greg Oden (2008).”

LaMelo has a lot of room for improvement. He is also criticized for being less than enthusiastic on the offensive end as well. So fans who are expecting Ball to take over the court by storm need to be more patient. Will he be able to blossom into the player everyone’s hoping for? Or will he be just another over the top glorified player?

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Yashima Bhatia

1122 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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