LaVar’s master plan is still in play.
From the very beginning, it seemed like the Ball Brothers were destined to be inundated with as much ill will as possible. Some say that is due in large part to the Svengali manner in which patriarch LaVar Ball has gone about the business of promoting and marketing the Ball brand.
Since LaVar has taken the extraordinary measure of removing his progeny from a traditional path to professional basketball glory, a path that most mainstream basketball minds vehemently oppose, a lot of people are looking at their every hiccup as validation for prior doubt.
Michelle Beadle and David Jacoby discuss LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball’s basketball contract in Lithuania, with Jacoby saying “this is not going to work.”
The doubters exploded in laughter after their second game overseas resulted in a scoreless outing. It didnt matter that neither of LaMelo nor LiAngelo played more than 10 minutes combined in that game, after combining for 29 points in their first outing against Zalgiris second team.
See, see? Those are grown men! They shouldve stayed in school. Indeed, in the immortal words of Darryl McDaniel, After all, MCs have the gall, to pray and pray on my downfall! I get a chuckle imagining LaVar Ball, in all his yellow-toothed braggadocio, singing those words in the mirror every morning.
Before the international incident that damn near had LiAngelo shipped to a Chinese labor camp for reeducation, before LaMelo was pulled out of school, even before Lonzo walked through the hallowed halls of UCLA, LaVar was thinking of a master plan. And, not unlike Rakim in his prime, things are going even better than could have been expected. Right now, as individuals debate semantics, the plain fact of the matter is people are eating more crow than a little bit.
LaMelo Ball just had 43 points and Gelo had 37 points and 10 rebounds in Lithuania with LAVAR COACHING! Full Highlights! ——————————— Follow Us On Social! ——————————— Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/overtime Twitter: https://twitter.com/overtime Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GetOvertime/ ——————————— LaMelo Ball Highlights! ——————————— https://itsovertime.com/username/lameloball
It was just four months ago that USA Today had the nerve to publish an article proclaiming LaVar as the worse sports dad ever.
While Im not sure whether the headline was meant as hyperbole or just to garner shock value, the individual who wrote it appeared to be offended at the very idea that this man, this Black man, was completely disinterested in letting an institution define the boundaries for his children.
Out of all of the broken athletes in the world, used and abused by their parents, devoured by their circumstances, LaVar is the worst sports parent ever? He was compared to Marv Maronivich, father of troubled former NFL QB Todd Marinovich, who monitored and controlled every aspect of Todd’s life to the point where he suffered from substance abuse throughout much of his adult life.
Well after Lonzo Ball was drafted, but before he began flirting with triple-doubles on a nightly basis, everybody in the NBA was gunning for the rail-thin lightning rod. It started with Patrick Beverly, as his signature junkyard dog style of play appeared to irreparably disrupt the older Ball brothers confidence.
Lonzo would explode for 29 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists the very next game. Then, the triple-doubles started amassing. First one came on November 11, the next was eight days later. In the mean-and-in-between time, he appears to at the very least, be a threat to record a triple-double each time out. I thought that raggedly looking jump shot was going to be the thing that made him flop.
Lonzo Ball 1st Triple-Double Highlights vs Bucks (2017.11.11) – 19 Pts 13 Ast, 12 Reb, MAKES HISTORY
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Perhaps the hate isn’t that obvious, but that’s how some of these people sound with their objective criticism. Right now, though he’s missed more than ten games, Lonzo is averaging 10 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds per game. Overall, his skills have projected to the NBA very well. His shooting percentage across the board has gone up, though his free throws percentage is still an eyesore as if on conjunctivitis.
He has definitely trended up as the season has gone on.
Now, we have another change in the matrix of opinion, as LaMelo and LiAngelo continue upon this new path, one that was blazed by their mouthy dad as the cameras invaded Lithuania, and the American viewing public tuned into Facebook Live broadcasts of Prienai Vytautas. First, it was the Big Baller Brand Challenge, where the entire league seemed to transform itself just to accommodate what LaVar and Sons were doing.
Black power? In Eastern Europe? You’re damn right I’m here for that!
At least early on, it seems like Lithuania is in love with the Big Baller Brand. The coach, even while criticizing LaMelo, can’t help but show some affection for the 16-year-old phenom.
I dont think people truly appreciate how basketball-crazy Lithuania is. Its national men’s team is currently ranked 5th in the world, theyve won Bronze Medals at the Olympics on three occasions, three Gold Medals in FIBA Eurobasket and two Silvers. Their nickname is The Other Dream Team, for crying out loud!
After signing with Prienu Vytautas in Lithuania, LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball get advice from Lithuanian basketball player Jonas Valanciunas.
Suffice it to say, Lithuania dont play when it comes to basketball. Though there were a few natives that believed the baby Balls were all hype, their skills have shown up far more often than not. As it stands, their games are a raucous, rocking setting.
In between competing in the tough Lithuanian League, their team is still in the midst of the Big Baller Brand Challenge, a five-game series of exhibition style basketball games against lesser junior teams in which very little defense is played, admittedly. However, what’s often lost to critics is the fact that you still have to put the ball in the basket which LaMelo appears to be able to do with impunity.
LiAngelo, though I personally doubted his ability to get his shot off without having plays run for him, has thus far demonstrated the ability to use his size to get into the paint and score, as well as knock down opportunistic shots as they become available.
Young LaMelo looks every bit the basketball savant everyone said he is. LaVar, who was rewarded with a one-game stint as an assistant coach, is still growing his brand, which is connected to the success of his sons.
Has he commoditized his children? Perhaps, but I’d rather he do it his way than have them ground up and discarded by the NCAA.
Thousands of tennis players go pro before the age of 18 every year, same for hockey players. A black parent decides the NCAA aint the way for him, and everybody wants to pass a kidney stone. Sit down, shut up, and let the man work. Otherwise, you’re just a hater. May as we get it tattooed on your forehead.