Can LiAngelo Ball Succeed in the NBA?

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LiAngelo Ball
PRIENAI, LITHUANIA - JANUARY 09: LiAngelo Ball of Vytautas Prienai in action during the match between Vytautas Prienai and Zalgiris Kauno on January 9, 2018 in Prienai, Lithuania. (Photo by Alius Koroliovas/Getty Images)

Can LiAngelo Ball succeed in the NBA? That is a question many have asked and will continue to ask.

LiAngelo is often thought of as the forgotten son in the Ball family. Lonzo Ball and younger brother, LaMelo Ball, get more hype and are considered better players. During a WWE segment, all but LiAngelo were present as father LaVar Ball mixed it up in the ring with superstar, The Miz. Lonzo was introduced in his future home, Staples Center, as “Big Ballers greatest son.”

Can LiAngelo Ball Succeed in the NBA?

With Lonzo already on the Los Angeles Lakers and LaMelo still a few years away from being draft eligible, it is LiAngelo who will be getting some attention as he declared for this summer’s NBA Draft. The topic of discussion remains, can he get drafted? It doesn’t seem likely.

High School and Pro Career

Ball attended Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California. Playing for the Huskies, he showed off his ability to score and score in bunches. As a senior, he scored 1,013 points and had games with 72, 65, 60 and 56 points.

After averaging 30.3 points in two seasons at Chino Hills, Ball committed to UCLA. His time there was short-lived after he was caught shoplifting along with two teammates during a team trip to China. Shortly after, he was pulled out of UCLA and signed a professional contract with Vytautas Prienu in Lithuania.

Ball averaged 15.6 points in nine games, four of which he started. He and LaMelo, who plays for the same team, made some noise on social media when they put up big numbers during Big Baller Brand games.

On the same day he declared for the NBA Draft, Ball scored 72 points against the Guangdong Southern Tigers in a Big Baller Brand Exhibition game. The footage shows that the opposing team seemed to be a youth team. Is it a coincidence that this game was played the day Ball declared? No.

These games are set up by LaVar to expose his sons. Points are being put up but NBA teams aren’t dumb. They will see the opponents and level of basketball being played. There is no doubt that Ball can play but it would have benefited him to stay at UCLA and show himself off. Oh, and not to shoplift in another country could have helped too.

The LaVar Ball Factor

LaVar is a loud-mouth father who burst onto the scene for making ridiculous claims while Lonzo was turning into a star at UCLA. Who can forget when he claimed he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one? Or when he said that Lonzo would benefit the Warriors more than Stephen Curry? My personal favorite is when he said that Lonzo would have the same effect on the Lakers that Magic Johnson had.

Why did he do all of this? Marketing. LaVar was exposing himself and his sons to help band his new company, Big Baller Brand. This is a company where he can sell shirts, sneakers and sweatshirts for outrageous prices.

Currently playing point guard for the Lakers, Lonzo is getting a break from his father because he is focused on the two young-ins in the family. LiAngelo is a long shot to get drafted but LaVar is not helping his case. The only way a team will draft or sign him is if they need some publicity. It would be similar to what Tim Tebow is doing for the New York Mets.

Off of skill alone, Ball does not seem to have what it takes to succeed at the professional level, but LaVar is doing more damage to his two younger sons than good.

 

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