ESPN – LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have reached an agreement to sign professional basketball deals with Lithuanian club Prienu Vytautas, the team’s coach/GM Virginijus Seskus and Ball family agent Harrison Gaines told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. After ESPN reported on the seriousness of the talks between the Ball brothers and the European team on Monday afternoon, the two sides finalized the agreement hours later.
This week in LaVar Ball’s continued efforts to ruin his kids lives, dad is sending his kids off to go play professionally in LITHUANIA! Ball in the Family season 3 is going to be fucking must watch TV. You got LiAngelo going to Chinese prison for shoplifting only to be saved by Donald Trump, LaVar pulling LaMelo out of high school and then pulling LiAngelo out of UCLA, and now both of Lonzo’s brothers with questionable basketball talent will be going pro and playing together in Lithuania.
It’s not about the money for the Ball Brothers. They have a passion to play Basketball and to experience playing as pros was the Goal. They have accomplished this mission and are excited to be playing on the same team to top it off. The Big Baller way! pic.twitter.com/QOu6QCtMdf
— Big Baller Brand (@bigballerbrand) December 12, 2017
Real talk though, I understand LaVar’s want to turn all three of his sons into NBA players, but at what cost?
This is not UCLA. To quote a morbid scene from the movie 300, this will not be over quickly, you will not enjoy this.
“Prienu Vytautas, or BC Prienai as it’s often called, is a low-level club from a small, non-English speaking village of roughly 10,000 people in southern Lithuania. The team has been grappling with financial issues and started the season losing eight of its first 12 games in the Lithuanian league…The club plays in a 1,700-seat arena; 500 of those seats are reserved for team sponsors and their friends. Tickets cost around 5 euros. The team has no general manager and doesn’t practice regularly due to the poor financial situation.”
Oh this should go swimmingly.
By all the reports I’ve read from the heavy hitters like Woj, LiAngelo is not considered an NBA prospect. Dan Wetzel said scouts told him LiAngelo’s best bet was to transfer to a mid-major and stay for four years, not burn every bridge and go play in a third world country. LaMelo may have a shot at the NBA, but he’s 16. Going from high school to playing against grown ass men in Lithuania does not seem like the smart route.
As Dan Wetzel put it on Yahoo:
“[LaMelo] will be eligible for the 2019 NBA draft and there is plenty to lose playing against grown men in the Lithuanian and Baltic leagues. LaMelo is 16. The two point guards currently on the Vytautas roster are 28 and 32. This isn’t the Nike AAU Peach Jam tournament…LiAngelo is not considered an NBA prospect at this time, no matter what LaVar says.
These kids grew up rich and pampered in sunny California with every advantage, raised by an overbearing father who controlled everything for them. Now these two are going overseas to a country where they don’t speak English to play for a team where they’re not even guaranteed playing time, let alone success. These two kids quit high school and quit UCLA after things didn’t go their way. Quitting this time would probably be a death knell to any serious NBA aspirations. Its sink or swim time boys.