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LaVar Ball and Driving His Kids into a Ditch

December 7th, 2017 · No Comments · Basketball, NBA, UCLA

Yeah, more LaVar. I don’t plan to do that. But we have so many teachable moments involved here that we feel the gravitational pull … of the worst Basketball Dad in the history of the game.

A Bleacher Report story, by a reporter based in Israel, where European basketball is a big thing, offers little hope for LaVar in his latest plan — to get his two younger sons onto the same European professional team.

In short?

European basketball appears to have little or no interest in babysitting LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball until they are good enough for the NBA.

Several officials of European clubs told the website’s reporter that they spend their limited cash (and visas) on proven players — guys who have competed at high levels. Such as major-college programs like UCLA.

They also suggest LaVar Ball has no real concept how European basketball works, how competitive it is and how oriented it is toward instant results (sounds like European soccer). And the language barrier was never broached, but could have been.

More than one executive said something along the lines of how LaVar’s meddling with his sons’ careers would not be tolerated by European clubs, and how they would be disinclined to have anything to do with the family. (“This isn’t entertainment basketball,” one said.)

When LaVar revealed his “going to Europe” plan, he had foresight enough to say he would accompany them to their (pending) European club and would stay for a while, which is a good idea, considering LaMelo is 16 and LiAngelo 19. And when LaVar has to get back to the states to make the rounds of talk shows, one of the kid’s uncles would go over to Europe to take over as chaperone.

This hare-brained scheme goes back to LaVar’s disastrous dismissal of the seriousness of LiAngelo’s shoplifting while in China with the UCLA basketball team.

Instead of just dealing with the consequences, with UCLA likely to reinstate LiAngelo, eventually, LaVar pulled him out of school. Which came a few months after LaVar pulled his youngest son out of high school. (Education? Overrated.)

Which led to LaVar blue-skying his plan for them to work out at home, presumably with AAU-level players, and getting them ready for the NBA draft against guys who will never play in the NBA. Which sounded lame, even to him, apparently.

Which led to LaVar having both of them sign with an agent, ending their amateur (prep, college) careers with the stroke of a pen.

Which led to the European plan, with LaVar calling for a team to not only sign both his kids but also to have them on the floor at the same time. Which is just delusional.

And now we have the first of what may be several reports of European skepticism/contempt at the idea. As well as rehashing how teams in China (which has a strong professional league) are unlikely to sign a Ball brother (given LiAngelo’s sticky fingers in his recent visit) … leading the younger Ball kids to … where? South America? The Middle-East?

This will not end well. (And at some point, at least one of the kids is going to rebel against his father’s machinations, because that is what young men tend to do.)

The lesson? Don’t overreach. Don’t double-down on deuces.


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