And-Ones: Ball Family, Durant, Early, Tanking

Both LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are set to play for the Lithuanian team Vytautas Prienai starting next year and the marketing campaign behind the brothers is not far behind. The Balls’ new team has shipped jerseys of the brothers to the United States and they will be available for purchase on Amazon soon after the new year, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports.

Vytautas has shipped 500 jerseys (half for each brother) to an Amazon warehouse and more will be shipped in the first week of January. LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16, have provided branding to facilitate the marketing deal, Charania writes.

The brothers’ outspoken father, LaVar Ball, has captured headlines across the basketball world for the better part of two years, advocating for his sons and their basketball futures. Lonzo Ball is currently in his rookie season with the Lakers but his two siblings will have to pursue NBA careers differently. LaMelo was taken out of Chino Hills High School and homeschooled before signing with Vytautas; LiAngelo was enrolled in UCLA before he was arrested for shoplifting in China. Shortly after returning to the United States, LiAngelo left UCLA to pursue his professional career.

Check out other news from the basketball world below:

  • Former Knicks player Cleanthony Early was traded in the G League last week, going from the Santa Cruz Warriors to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, per Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Early, 26, last appeared in the NBA during the 2015/16 season. He was averaging  13.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 2.6 APG with the Warriors at the time of the trade.
  • The NBA’s Last Two Minute Report from Christmas Day’s matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers revealed that Kevin Durant fouled LeBron James multiple times during the final possession of the game.
  • While teams have found success and results from prolonged stretches of losing seasons, the entire league suffers when teams decide to tank, ESPN’s Howard Bryant writes.
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26 thoughts on “And-Ones: Ball Family, Durant, Early, Tanking

  1. leprechaun

    As long as the father is calling the shots these kids will never excel. No one person or one family is bigger than the game itself. Teams will start running from the father if they haven’t already

    • yoyo137

      Last time I checked, all 3 of his sons are under contract as professional basketball players. They all have a stake in a shoe company and their last name is a brand. Lonzo just bought Lavar a Rolls-Royce and he is on a 4 year rookie deal that pays around $33 million over the life of the contract. His kids are already excelling. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you don’t like Lavar Ball. I’m gonna state a fact and say you don’t know what you’re taking about.

  2. Tramore

    Isn’t cleanthony early the guy who got shot at the gas station during a robbery?

  3. Dodgethis

    Oh please, LeBron gets away with more fouls, while simultaneously receiving more foul calls where non exists than any other player in the league and it’s not close. Adam silver has done everything in his power to make LeBron MJ 2.0, from throwing games, using refs to manipulate calls, and letting LeBron travel on 90% of his possessions. It’s so blatant it’s sad. Adam silver is destroying the league.

    • ChiSoxCity

      I was with you until the MJ comment. Please leave him out of any LeBron analogies. It’s disrespectful, and frankly, embarrassing.

    • ChiSoxCity

      Ok, I’ll try this again since my original post got deleted. Jordan got constantly and viciously hacked on every dribble penetration attempt (Jordan Rules). He got the calls because very few players could guard him 1-on-1 without fouling him. MJ shot took his lumps and shot his free-throws like a man. Fast forward to today, where 6’8”, 260lb. prima donas like LeBaby flop around on the floor and complain about being touch. You can’t honestly tell me LeBron and Jordan get treated the same because their style of play, attitudes and the rules they play under are vastly different.

      • southbeachbully

        You just made the point. MJ had those fouls called and TOOK his free throws. LBJ, much like with Shaq, doesn’t get the benefit of a lot of calls BECAUSE of his size and the fact that opponents are ALLOWED to be more physical with LBJ because he’s just too strong. Is he guilty of flopping in the past? Absolutely. Is he smacked around his head, shoulders and arms when he takes it to the hole and NOT get the call? Abso-freaking-lutely. He does whine quite a bit but so did Jordan and every other big scorer. Look at how James Harden collects his fouls vs how LBJ gets fouled. Night and day and that’s the problem. Harden is smart enough to create the contact on the perimeter. LBJ is aggressive to the basket and doesn’t get to the FT line enough.

        • ChiSoxCity

          Again, they’re not the same. If you’re a Forward in the NBA, you will experience physical contact. Basketball is a contact sport, although the league has done everything it can to take physicality out of the game during this present era. Players like Shaq and LeBron initiate a ton of contact because of the position they play, and they use their size to get to the basket. MJ used his athleticism. In any event, most knowledgeable, thinking people are sick of LeBron’s incessant whining and pouting. You claim to be the best player in the world. Use your talent to overcome and win at all cost. That is what made MJ great. Sorry LeBron, but you’re no MJ.

          • x%sure

            What a joke of an excuse. James is a forward, so he should take hits and not complain. Meanwhile Jordan is a holy guard so should not be touched! And that is the Jordan Rules: No touching Jordan, or get called for a foul. Indeed if one is only standing close, and Jordan decides to twitch, foul.
            Actually there were a lot of special-case rules in that era… Miller kicked defenders in the shin and expected the foul to be called on whoever’s shin that was. He got the call.
            Barkley shoved his butt into the defender, backing him down, but if the defender pushed back, foul. Rick Mahorn took out every starting white player in the division, that’s okay. The whole disgusting era reached an end when James entered the league and EARNED his FT shots the old-fashioned way, by getting hit.

            Comparing James to Shaq? Shaq started the phrase “the big man is allowed to get started going to the basket”– in other words, shove people aside in his way after catching the entry pass. Never heard that before, never since. If Hubie said that now it would garner laughter.

            Complaining about James being 260 pounds gives @Chisoxcity away as biased and @Dodgethis-like. Lets see, Jordan was 6-7 with a 44″ vertical. Why is that not evidence of some kind of disqualification?
            And James seeks contact, right. He would prefer a clear path like most players, except those clever enough to play the refs– like Jordan. “Knowlegable, thinking people” can talk themselves into things all the faster.

            James has flaws, but I rarely hear them spoken of. He gets astonishly nervous, but it is somehow not allowed to say that about a 260 pound man who brags sometimes. So there’s two for y’all.
            Why would Jordan complain about NBA officials?

          • yoyo137

            You can focus on drives to the basket and drives off pick and rolls as an easy way to compare who gets more calls. It’s definitely James Harden, but he goes to the basket looking to draw a foul, Lebron drives looking to kick to a shooter.

  4. bravesfan88

    Even if teams are trying to tank, it doesn’t always work…Look nonfurther than the Bulls…

    Although, if there is one front office that can’t even tank properly, it would be the Bulls front They can’t seem to get ANYTHING right!!

    Dunn has actually turned into a very promising PG, Lopez has been a steadying force at C, Mirotic has came out the gates on fire, Portis has stepped his game up, Markkanen has been up and down, but has shown alot of future promise, and they have guys like Nwaba, Grant, and Holliday all doing their due diligence to make the dirty plays to help this team win…

    Who would have thought, Hoiberg could actually coach better whenever he gets rid of all their talent!?! …As a former H.O.F Packers coach once said, “What the hell is going here!?!” lol

    Somehow, someway, they could even manage to make the playoffs this season!! /: …How is that even possible!?! lol

    • bravesfan88

      Not to mention, that’s all without even their best player, LaVine, who hasn’t even played yet this season!!….

      Imagine how much better the Bulls will be by LaVine taking the minutes of Valentine and Zipser!!…

      When the Bulls are supposed to win, they lose..When they are supposed to lose, they win!! Go figure…Cause I sure as heck don’t understand…

    • southbeachbully

      The Bulls have are tied for the 4th worst record in the nba. Not sure what you want them to do differently. They stripped themselves of most of the talent and were left with a bunch of young players. Just because the FO isn’t trying to compete it doesn’t mean the players are going to tank. The Bulls can find themselves in a very interesting place at the end of the year. They can end up with a top 5 pick and still have a few young and controllable up and coming players to build around like Markkaken, Dunn, Grant and Portis. They will probably move Lopez, Lavine, Holiday and Mirotic by the deadline or before 2018/19 season. The problem with the NBA is that each team has to spend a certain amount of money each year. That forces bad teams to sign mediocre players to bad contracts just to meet a silly threshold. They might be able to get past that by extending some of these guys at over market value if and only if they view them as parts of the long term rebuild.

    • bennyg

      The Bulls aren’t allowing LaVine, who has been training regularly with the G League affiliate team for the past month, but is not allowed to train with the Bulls. That’s how bad the FO is at tanking. They’re winning games (9-2 since Mirotic has come back) but holding probably their best player out for whatever reason.
      Whats the bet Mirotic gets traded by Feb for some more draft picks and LaVine just sits collecting dust

  5. Thomas Swanson

    In all fairness. How many times has LeBron fouled out in 15 years? Once I think!

  6. OCTraveler

    Are the Ball brothers playing in Europe “next season”? If so that means we have to put up with all of Lavar’s BS for another complete season. I was hoping they were joining the team this season so Lavar would be taking his show on the road now. Oh well, just hoping.

    • I’m just glad they all kept to basketball. Imagine for example if one played basketball, one baseball and one football. We’d never not here from Lavar.

  7. Thomas Swanson

    LiAngelo will have to play in Europe next season. He won’t be in NBA or G League.
    Let’s not forget they are going to a lower tier team that has had one American in the past and has played half the season. They are going because dad says this will help them get to play with Lonzo and the Lakers. Now LiAngelo is known as a thief and LaMelo as a high school drop out.

    • mcase7187

      Lamelo has to wait 3yrs before he can join the nba I believe its 19+ only or 2yrs with GED

  8. Thomas Swanson

    HoopsRumors says the NBA wants to allow players to be drafted straight out of high school again. I think the union does. I read the owners want to make it 2 years after college, and will bring it up in this years (2018) meetings. I just don’t see LaMelo not playing organized basketball for 3-4 years and getting drafted especially for his reputation and LaVars.

    • Thomas Swanson

      LaMelo doesn’t have a GED. Dad is too concerned about NBA scouts getting to watch him play basketball.

      • Yamsi12

        LaMelo won’t ever play a minute in the NBA, same with his crook of a brother. Thanks Levar.

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