The Lonzo Ball era didn't get off to the start the Los Angeles Lakers would've liked as they suffered a heavy defeat to city rivals the Clippers.
The loss was compounded by an uninspiring debut by Ball who posted three points, nine rebounds and four assists.
The 19-year-old's night was made extremely tough by coming up against All-Defensive guard Patrick Beverley who made it his mission to make his opponent's first NBA game as miserable as possible.
It was apparent earlier in the summer that Beverley was eagerly anticipating this matchup as he took to Twitter to tell LaVar Ball how much he was looking forward to guarding his son.
It was clear throughout the game that he was relishing defending Lonzo and he succeeded in making him a peripheral figure in the game.
That stats back this up too. According to ESPN Stats and Info, on the 29 plays that Patrick Beverley guarded Ball, he went 0-for-2 from the floor and had three assist opportunities.
The Clippers guard played extremely physically with his young counterpart, frequently picked him up at full court and talking trash to him.
In one particular play in the opening minutes, Beverley fouled Lonzo at centre court and immediately forced a turnover from the resulting inbounds pass which led to a deliberate fist pump in his face.
The 29-year-old helped his team to a win and shut down the UCLA product, but that wasn't enough for him.
According to ESPN's Marc Spears, Beverley proceeded to troll Lonzo after the game outside the locker room.
Per Spears: 'Clippers guard Patrick Beverley screamed outside locker room, "Weak ass m----- f-----. Bring him out on the court with me and I will tear his ass up." It's presumed Beverley is talking about Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball'.
The veteran seemed more relaxed in his post-game interview and said Ball will become a better player after this encounter with him.
“He’s a great talent, but he’s got to go through the tough times. He’ll be better for it,” he said.
The former Houston Rockets man was a First Team All-Defence selection last year and is a tough matchup for most point guards let alone a rookie.
But the new Lakers star will have to get used to having a target on his back due to the level of hype he's received throughout the year.
He failed his first challenge, but it'll be a test of his character and talent to see how he bounces back and handles the rigours of the NBA.News Now - Sport News