NBA

Lonzo Ball has indifferent pre-season debut for the Los Angeles Lakers

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Whenever Lonzo Ball takes to the court in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, it's a big event.

The rookie made his pre-season debut for the team on Saturday night but you would've thought it was a regular season game with a packed crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Canada.

The only other action he had for the team prior to this was in the Summer League and the Purple and Gold fans sold out arenas for the first time in the competition's history on that occasion.

With so much hype surrounding the 19-year-old, all eyes were on him as he took to the court against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Ball had an indifferent game, though, as the Timberwolves came away with a 108-99 win.

The point guard stuffed the stat sheet and showed flashes of his talent but he struggled with his shot as he went 2-of-9 from the field and 1-of-9 from three-point range.

He still ended the game with five points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

Despite his lack of scoring, the talented guard had no problems making plays and facilitating which he does with ease.

The 18,000-strong crowd in Anaheim were still entertained by his outstanding array of passes as he zipped the ball all over the court.

The UCLA product is usually praised for his unselfishness and ability to get others involved but head coach Luke Walton was slightly disappointed that he passed up shots to try and create for others and wants to see him mix it up.

"Lonzo is so gifted as far as the way he always makes everyone on the court a threat," Walton said. "With him we have been working on that he is so unselfish that sometimes he has good shots for himself and he tries to get someone else a shot. We want him taking those.

"We are looking for him to be a little more aggressive to score the ball, especially early on. I thought he was great the way he was moving around out there and getting people involved."

Even though it was only a pre-season contest, the number two overall draft pick was delighted to don the Purple and Gold uniform and fulfill a childhood dream of representing his hometown team.

"Oh man, it felt great, especially when they called my name and the fans were cheering," Ball said. "That is what you dream about as a kid and it is finally here and that was a great moment. But at the end of the day I got a job to do."

The Lakers have four more pre-season games coming up before they tip off the new campaign against cross-city rivals the Clippers in what will be a raucous occasion for Ball's NBA debut.

Topics:
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
NBA
Kobe Bryant
Julius Randle

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