In a quick update on yesterday’s story about LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, they did sign with a team in Lithuania yesterday afternoon so their “professional” career is beginning but there is a bit of a caveat to the contract they signed and their expectations.
They signed with Prienu Vytautus, also known as BC Prienai, a low-level club in Prienai, Lithuania. The team plays in a 1,700 seat areana, where 500 of the seats are reserved for friends and family of the club. The GM and the coach are the same guy, Virginijus Seskus, and the team’s best player is the coach’s son. The team doesn’t practice regularly because they cannot afford the fees for the practice court and they carpool to games on game day so they don’t have to pay for a hotel.
Putting them in this environment can not be good for their development. Several American players who played in Europe have said that there is a difference between NBA play and professional European basketball, so I would imagine that at the age of these kids who are still developing physically and mentally it cannot be ideal for their basketball skills. This just seems like another situation where LaVar is trying to prove that he knows best and is willing to affect his kid’s future to make a point.
A little side humor. LaVar was brought in to the Lakers office a couple of weeks back by President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka and asked to basically shut his mouth about his criticism of coach Luke Walton. Ball’s response to reporters “But I am going to say, to plant a seed, 'Let's look for this now.' They may not want to hear that, but it's going to be successful if you listen to what I'm saying on that fact, that I know what it takes for my son to run like this.”
Translation: I know how to be a better coach, GM and President of Basketball Operations than any of you so when I talk you do what I say and Lonzo is the greatest player ever.
I promise, no more stories involving the Ball family for the rest of the year.