Perhaps it's time for the NBA to take a step back and look at courtside fan seating.
Charlotte Hornets guard and 2020 third-overall pick LaMelo Ball re-injured his left ankle in the fourth quarter of a Wednesday game after accidentally stepping on a fan's foot. LaMelo was in the process of slowing himself down and cleanly rolled his ankle on the spectator's foot.
Charlotte hosted the Indiana Pacers and lost, 125-113.
Sideline fan seating goes both ways in terms of safety.
Who can forget the time former Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James accidentally ran into Australian professional golfer Jason Day's wife on the sidelines and sent her to the hospital on a stretcher?
“I think every N.B.A. player has had close calls like that,” said ex-NBA player Derrick Williams, via The New York Times. “With LeBron being his size and landing on that lady, it’s tough. Being 260 pounds and running full speed, he’s going to land on somebody.”
The too-close-for-comfort seating hurt Charlotte in a big way as Ball will likely miss time for the same ankle that sidelined him at the start of the year. Ball was playing his third game of the season after missing the first 13 contests of the year due to a previous sprain to the ankle.
LaMelo was back to star production for the team against the Pacers: tallying 26 points, six assists and five made three-pointers before exiting the contest.
The 21-year-old also surpassed 900 career assists on Wednesday.
Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford said the team will further determine the severity of Ball's injury on Thursday.
Stay tuned with OutKick as the story develops