Lonzo Ball's NBA debut proved to be a huge anti-climax for the Los Angeles Lakers as he put in an underwhelming performance in their huge loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The hype and anticipation surrounding the game at Staples Center was huge and it failed to live to the expectations of the team's fans.
The rookie had just three points, nine rebounds and four assists in his first game on the NBA stage.
Luckily for Ball, he had a chance to bounce back from that disappointing showing a day later and he did it in style in Phoenix.
In just his second game, the 19-year-old led the Lakers to a win over the Suns on the road by almost posting a triple-double.
The point guard notched 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in a 132-130 win at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
After taking just six shots in the team's opener, Ball was a lot more aggressive on this occasion making 12-of-27 attempts from the field. He was also 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
''The last game I shot six shots,'' he said. ''That didn't work out so well. Figured I'd try something else.''
He fell just an assist shy of becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double in the league.
But he is the first teenager since LeBron James to have 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. And his 29 points are the most by a Laker in his first or second game of his career since at least 1963, per ESPN.
He looked a lot more confident and was looking to make plays for himself or his teammates on every occasion.
''Today I just had to do what I had to do to get the win. I had to shoot a few more shots. It doesn't take me long to learn,'' Ball said. ''It was my first time. Everybody is going to criticise me regardless of what I do, but the more I play, the more comfortable I get.''
With the amount of publicity he's received over the last six months, the young guard will be scrutinised with every game he plays but he's used to being questioned after getting off to slow starts.
"This happened before. It happened in summer league. It's happened before in my career. So, I am used to it," Ball said.
"I know everybody is going to say everything game by game, so if I play bad on Sunday, it is going to go right back to he's a bust. It doesn't matter to me, I just come out and play as hard as I can to get my team wins."
The UCLA product showed a lot of character to bounce back from a disappointing debut and the only is up now for the future star of the franchise.News Now - Sport News