After feuding with his sons’ coach, LaVar Ball took his boys and went home.
As if this was ever going to end any other way.
LaVar Ball yanked his sons LiAngelo and LaMelo out of Lithuania with two LKL games left in the season, according to local journalist Donatas Urbonas. And as almost anyone could have predicted going in, the issue was a spat with BC Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus.
With Vytautas still fighting to avoid relegation — imagine the Yankees or Mets getting demoted to Triple-A, or the Knicks or Nets banished to playing in the G-League — Urbonas tweeted that the “reality show” is over, and the Ball brothers are leaving Lithuania next week.
“We’re not going to waste our time no more,” LaVar said. Urbonas reported that the Ball patriarch had no issue with Lithuania, the citizens or the team, but that the move was made because “I just didn’t get along with the coach.”
Just like the eldest Ball had taken shots at Lakers coach Luke Walton for his management of his son Lonzo, a rookie in Los Angeles. And just like he had pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA, after he’d already been suspended indefinitely for being accused of shoplifting while in China. And just like he had pulled LaMelo from Chino Hills (Calif.) High School over battles with the coach.
LiAngelo was one of the top scorers in the LKL, averaging a team-high 14.2 points in a dozen games while shooting 44 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. But he’d missed time due to a recent ankle injury.
Meanwhile, 16-year-old LaMelo had been mustering just 6.5 points in 12 minutes per game, hitting on 26.8 percent from the floor. His playing time had largely been limited to Big Baller Brand exhibition games against lesser foes. Now, both of their futures are cloudy (or cloudier).
While LiAngelo has declared for the NBA draft, and insists he views himself as a starting shooting guard in the NBA, he’s unlikely to get drafted. He’ll compete in the Professional Basketball Combine next month at IMG Academy, but that’s not viewed in the same light as even the Portsmouth Invitational, much less the NBA Combine in Chicago.
Considering the sideshow and chaos that the Ball family brings, convincing a top European team to put up with the distraction seems unlikely. That’s how they ended up in Lithuania in the first place. And LaMelo isn’t even eligible to get drafted for another two years. He’s back in the same team-less limbo he was in when his father yanked him out of Chino Hills. Notice a pattern here?
Basketball’s biggest mouth, LaVar Ball loves to court controversy
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