Brilliant Banchero makes grand entrance as No. 1 pick shines on NBA bow

Oct 20, 2022 552

Paolo Banchero said his dazzling NBA debut was a moment he had "been working for my whole life" after showing why the Orlando Magic made him the first overall pick. The 19-year-old American-Italian set a Magic points record for a rookie by scoring 27 points with 11-of-18 shooting against the Detroit Pistons, also claiming nine rebounds and providing five assists.

Banchero, who shone for Duke before declaring himself for the 2022 NBA Draft, could not prevent the Magic losing the game 113-109, but his bow at the top level was still one to savour. The previous most points scored by a Magic rookie on debut was 13 by Mo Bamba four years ago, and Banchero soon sauntered past that mark, while Jaden Ivey did likewise, finishing with 19 points. Banchero became the first player since LeBron James in 2003 to have a 25-5-5 game or better on debut in the NBA.

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