LaVar Ball: does he do more harm than good?

LaVar Ball: does he do more harm than good?
December 21
04:00 2017

The soap opera of the Ball family seems to evolve on a daily basis.  The most recent news is that the younger ball brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo, will be playing pro basketball next year for a Lithuanian professional basketball team.

Last week, the two younger Ball brothers signed with an agent effectively ending their college careers.  LaVar recently pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA amid his shoplifting scandal in China last month.  He also pulled 16 year old LaMelo out of Chino Hills High School in order for him to be home-schooled and focus on basketball.

LiAngelo and LaMelo have signed with the Lithuanian professional basketball team Prienu Vytautas.  They will start play in the early part of the 2018 calendar year.  LaVar seems confident his boys will succeed overseas but it may be tough sledding for the Ball brothers to find their way.

To be honest, I was very confused by the moves to remove both of the younger Ball brothers from their respective schools.  LiAngelo is not a top ranked prospect coming into his freshman year.  In fact, he is not on the draft boards of pretty much all of the NBA teams, according to one executive. 

He (LiAngelo) definitely was not a “one and done” player to start the year so with him likely not to see much playing time overseas his stock is falling.  A better option would have been to transfer to a Division II school and make a name for himself there over the course of a couple of well needed seasons.

On the other hand, LaMelo is a junior in high school with potential.  He was committed to the UCLA Bruins but LaVar may have derailed his chances of being a high draft pick in the NBA. As a 16 year old, he will more than likely have trouble matching up with the size and strength of professionals overseas.

I used to think that LaVar was a mad genius in the way he not only marketed his sons but also their Big Baller Brand of athletic shoes and merchandise  He seemed to live by the old saying of any press is good press and up to this point it seemed to work.

It looked as though he was making most of the right moves with how he handled things with his sons and their brand.  Their names are constantly in the news for good, bad or indifferent reasons but this looks to be a bad move.

Moreover, this move does not seem to be in the best interest of his kids but instead for the Big Baller Brand.  I would never question how a person parents their children, but this move doesn’t seem to be in the best interest of his boys.

Other high schoolers with more talent than the Ball brothers have attempted to forego playing a year of college basketball for the opportunity to play overseas.  Former NBA Lottery picks Brandon Jennings, in 2009 and Emmanuel Mudiay, in 2015, made the trek overseas and found their time there harder than they initially anticipated.

Coaches overseas will not be intimidated by LaVar’s antics.  Playing time will be hard to come by for the brothers.  When they do step on the court, they will be the main focus of many of their opponents as every player will be determined to play as hard as possible against them.

I have mostly agreed with many of the moves LaVar has made when it came to his sons, but this one I do not.  I cannot see how this will benefit the younger Ball brothers in any way, shape or form.

I don’t want to say he is looking out for his brand over his children, but what other way is there to look at this situation?  LaVar may come out looking like a genius once again, but this move does not look to pan out that way when it’s all said and done.  I hope that I am wrong about my prediction and the boys succeed overseas as well as in their potential NBA careers.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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