LaMelo Ball's Hornets debut left a lot to be desired.
As the third overall pick in the NBA draft, there was a lot of hype surrounding LaMelo Ball. During preseason, his stats were lackluster although he displayed flashes of brilliance thanks to some nifty passes that always managed to make their way to the highlight reels. Last night, LaMelo got to play in his very first regular-season game, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the end, the Hornets lost the game, all while LaMelo went scoreless in 16 minutes of action. He also only managed three assists and one rebound.
Immediately following the game, Ball received some advice from veteran teammate Gordon Hayward who told reporters that he pulled the player aside following the match. Hayward went on to note that he gave Ball some advice, telling him to keep digging and to not give up.
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“I told him just to forget this one,” Hayward said. “There’s going to be so many nights where he is, you know, playing his game and playing really well. So, I said ‘Don’t worry about this one at all. We all know the type of player that you are.’ Some days are diamonds, some days are stones and I think it’s something where it’s his first game and, you know, those things happen. But I have ultimate confidence in LaMelo. I think he’s going to be a great player this year and for many, many years and a great player in this league and so I think he’ll be all right.”
While LaMelo's debut wasn't what he hoped, there is no denying that he has potential and can still win rookie of the year this season. If he can bounce back next game, perhaps he can give himself some momentum that can be carried throughout the season.
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