This is what every side wanted — attention. Basketball was an afterthought.
LaVar Ball wanted a massive marketing opportunity and good fodder for the family reality series on Facebook — it’s always about branding.
Financially struggling, small-town Vytautas in the Lithuanian League was looking for a way to make more money — they are already selling Ball jerseys — and LiAngelo Ball (age 18) and LaMelo Ball (16) were the ticket.
So when LaVar Ball and sons landed in Lithuania, both sides got exactly what they wanted — a media circus.
Talk to people who have scouted the Balls and know the European game, ask them for an under/over on how long this Lithuanian experiment lasts and you generally get a month or so. Or, they will be there until the marketing buzz wears off. As for the basketball, the Lithuanian League is known for a physical brand of basketball played by men with high hoops IQs — the Ball children may be the most athletic players on their team, but drive the lane and they are going to get knocked down in a way they have never seen before. This is going to be a huge adjustment for LiAngelo and LaMelo, we’ll see how they adapt.