Lonzo and his brother Chuck Cunningham and his other brother Chuck Cunningham

DrewDawg

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So they’ve signed with a Lithuanian team, will report to team in January.

I think LiAngelo will make 50 professional FTs before Lonzo does.
 

DrewDawg

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And here it is:
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21741604/liangelo-lamelo-ball-serious-talks-lithuanian-basketball-club
In discussions with a Lithuanian team to be bench players for what is essentially their B-team.
So signing in Lithuania to play for essentially the B-team (BBL) of one of the worse teams in the LKL (somewhere between the 9th and 12th best league in Europe by most estimates)

Article I read said the team won the title last season.

Aron Baynes played in this league.
 

Cellar-Door

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Article I read said the team won the title last season.

Aron Baynes played in this league.
They won the BBL, not the LKL. The Balls will likely play in the BBL which is the lesser league they are in (hence B-team). For a comparison it would be like one of the mid to low level La Liga teams winning the Segunda with their B team.

Baynes played in the LKL for one year that season's LKL champion then left for Germany.

Edit- my guess is that they don't even finish the season.
 

BigSoxFan

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Sarunas Marciulionis likes this. Going from pampered Cali life to hard knocks in Lithuania. This story just keeps on getting better.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Amen. When does the California child services department get involved? These two kids are still minors, aren’t they?
 

OnWisc

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Man, this shit is just sad at this point.
It really is. LiAngelo is already fucked. Instead of playing 4-5 years for a storied hometown program in SoCal and then possibly moving onto Europe, he'll play some abortive season in Lithuania waiting for his idiot father's next idiot decision. LaMelo's probably even worse off, as with his higher ceiling, he has more to lose, and with LaVar calling the shots, he almost certainly will.

The safety net provided by Lonzo's contract is likely the only thing that will keep this from being as sad as it would otherwise be.
 

The Needler

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Amen. When does the California child services department get involved? These two kids are still minors, aren’t they?
Be a better poster than this. Beyond the nonsensical nature of it in general, common sense would tell you it's extremely likely as a former freshman at UCLA, LiAngelo is not a minor. It would only take a few seconds on google to confirm he's 19.
 

InstaFace

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Spoke with a couple more players familiar with the team in Lithuania where the youngest Ball boys are headed. "There's not a lot of structure. The coach goes crazy, yells and screams all the time. ... he's crazy."
Definitely sounds like a coaching improvement over UCLA, if you're trying to develop as a basketball player.

Nobody asked about the local views on shoplifting, right?
 
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shaggydog2000

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Minor league team maxes out at $500 per month apparently. https://www.sbnation.com/2017/12/11/16764322/lithuanian-lamelo-liangelo-ball

I hope Lonzo has a good financial advisor.
Oh, I bet Lonzo has never seen a single check in his short pro career, all of it going to LaVar for his keen investment and money management expertise.

According to one article this team is in such bad economic shape that they're not even practicing because they can't afford it. I don't know if that is paying facility fees, coaches, or what. I can't imagine the kids are getting the max money.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Be a better poster than this. Beyond the nonsensical nature of it in general, common sense would tell you it's extremely likely as a former freshman at UCLA, LiAngelo is not a minor. It would only take a few seconds on google to confirm he's 19.
It was a joke. Sorry.
 

BigSoxFan

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I would be so pissed if I were these kids. Losing the college experience at UCLA to play for some crap team in Lithuania. Neither has Lonzo’s upside but LaMelo had a chance to be a good college player but he needed structure. He’s basically played in glorified pickup games his entire life. Have to wonder if a future divide is coming for the brothers as Lonzo soaks up the NBA lifestyle while his brothers’ hoop dreams get pushed aside as LaVar slowly realizes that he only has 1 meal ticket.
 

djbayko

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Are these kids even good enough to play on that team? I'm not familiar with the talent level of this league, and I understand that it's like a B/C league in Europe, but I assume they'll be playing with grown men. I know people here say LeMelo has NBA potential, but what I've seen in his YouTube highlight videos requires a lot of development before making the leap to a higher league. He's mostly scoring on short jumpers/floaters near the rim, not getting great hops over relatively short defenders. That won't last,

Who gets tired of who first? The team or the Ball's?
 
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HomeRunBaker

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LaMelo dropped out of high school to make this move.
LaVar had already pulled him out of Chino Hills two months ago to home school and train him. He wasn't playing on the team this winter.

I have either March 15th as my "Ball's leave Lithuania" date.....but I may be overly optimistic on their success.
 

djbayko

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LaVar had already pulled him out of Chino Hills two months ago to home school and train him. He wasn't playing on the team this winter.

I have either March 15th as my "Ball's leave Lithuania" date.....but I may be overly optimistic on their success.
Over/Under at Bovada is Jan 31st (-200 odds). I put money down on that. At least one of them can make it one month.
 

maufman

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LaVar likely doesn’t realize it, but he’s crossing a Rubicon with this Lithuania nonsense. LaMelo probably could have persuaded the NCAA that his father’s Big Baller Brand shenanigans shouldn’t compromise his eligibility, but no way he’s allowed to play college ball after he has played professionally in Europe. (LiAngelo was fucked the moment he walked away from UCLA — he’s not good enough to put up with the drama, even for a D-II school.)
 

uncannymanny

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LaVar had already pulled him out of Chino Hills two months ago to home school and train him. He wasn't playing on the team this winter.

I have either March 15th as my "Ball's leave Lithuania" date.....but I may be overly optimistic on their success.
Ah, yes, he’s the home schooled one. Now he’s gone from home schooling to, what, home schooling in Lithuania? I think I know the answer, but is this kid good enough to do much else now than receive an inheritance and/or snag a prime spot in Lonzo’s entourage? It doesn’t sound like his new team will offer much in terms of growth as a player and he’ll be heading into adulthood without a HS diploma.

The quote about the boys realizing their goal of playing in “pro ball” is just sad.
 

DrewDawg

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I can't wait until the NBA Draft rolls around and Lavar starts pushing for his kid to get NBA workouts.

That's gonna be fun.
 

reggiecleveland

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This is bad for these kids. Few div 1 guys would want to play in a "B" league.

I would like Lavar's number, and around next year when he has trashed his kid's eligibility in the NCAA, and nobody wants them, they can come to Canada and play. Canadian ball is generally considered DIV2 level though the best teams are better and the worst teams are much worse than div2. These kids would do great up here.
 

joe dokes

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LaVar likely doesn’t realize it, but he’s crossing a Rubicon with this Lithuania nonsense. LaMelo probably could have persuaded the NCAA that his father’s Big Baller Brand shenanigans shouldn’t compromise his eligibility, but no way he’s allowed to play college ball after he has played professionally in Europe. (LiAngelo was fucked the moment he walked away from UCLA — he’s not good enough to put up with the drama, even for a D-II school.)
LaVar figures it worked out well enough for the Festrunk brothers so why not give it a shot.

(I will not take LaVar Ball seriously).
 

Kliq

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So is LaVar moving to Lithuania to live his two teenage sons or is he letting them waste away on their own while he stays with his meal ticket?
 

Sprowl

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Definitely sounds like a coaching improvement over UCLA, if you're trying to develop as a basketball player.

Nobody asked about the local views on shoplifting, right?
The best thing for development as a basketball player is a long cold winter with a decent gym and no distractions. Lithuania qualifies. Canada too, in a pinch.
 

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DrewDawg

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I don't see how that is going to work. If you get 50 top prospects that's what maybe 5 teams? But all the kids are going to want to play minutes that they would have seen in college.

NBA should have each NBA team with G League team (maybe they do now?) and kids can go directly from HS, but have to play at least 1 season in G League, with maybe minimal time allowed for each player to spend a very short period of time on NBA roster. Kids learn the NBA ropes, get more games than college would give them, and NBA teams get to work with them sooner.
 

jmm57

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The plan is 10 teams, so 50 would work. I doubt they get 50 top end. But if they could get one Bagley/Ayton and a handful of late 1st rd-second rd prospects I'd be interested. Kind of like a real minor leagues for NBA.
 

The Needler

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http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21827823/lavar-ball-wants-start-league-high-school-graduates

I don't know if he can pull it off, but I'd be much more interested in watching this than G league or even NCAA if he can get a good batch of prospects.
Seems like a tall order. Putting aside whether there would be enough fan/tv/sponsorship interest to make it financially viable, you might be able to get a handful of guys that are close to "sure fire" draft prospects who would play for the $10k/month, but it seems like an overly risky play for the vast majority of players who are in the 3* or 4* range. I'd guess it would end up being largely filled with players not good enough to be offered by power conference college teams.
 

E5 Yaz

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I want him to get this off the ground ... because I want to see the lawsuits from players and parents when it falls apart
 

The Needler

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I want him to get this off the ground ... because I want to see the lawsuits from players and parents when it falls apart
I know helicopter parenting is big these days, but parents don't really have a lot of rights when it comes to high school graduates, more than 95% of whom are at least 18 when they graduate. And by the time any lawsuit would be ripe, I would think those would belong to the player even if he was 17 when he started.

I'd also guess that he'd have lawyers that make sure the contracts disclaim any promises of future pro success or likelihood of being drafted.
 

DrewDawg

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The plan is 10 teams, so 50 would work. I doubt they get 50 top end. But if they could get one Bagley/Ayton and a handful of late 1st rd-second rd prospects I'd be interested. Kind of like a real minor leagues for NBA.
Until the 8th, 9th, and 10th kid on the team getting 6 minutes of PT realizes he’d be getting 25+ playing in NCAAs.
 

jmm57

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There would obviously be roster filler. If he got so many top prospects that NBA type guys are getting 6 minutes a night the league would be a massive success. I'd be interested if he got some good prospects, maybe the rest of you wouldn't be.
 

snowmanny

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There would obviously be roster filler. If he got so many top prospects that NBA type guys are getting 6 minutes a night the league would be a massive success. I'd be interested if he got some good prospects, maybe the rest of you wouldn't be.
I assume the filler would come from top guys bring their best friends, or maybe the middle brother.
 
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Seems like a tall order. Putting aside whether there would be enough fan/tv/sponsorship interest to make it financially viable, you might be able to get a handful of guys that are close to "sure fire" draft prospects who would play for the $10k/month, but it seems like an overly risky play for the vast majority of players who are in the 3* or 4* range. I'd guess it would end up being largely filled with players not good enough to be offered by power conference college teams.
I can't see the Duke/Kentucky guys taking this big of a paycut.
 

moly99

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NBA should have each NBA team with G League team (maybe they do now?) and kids can go directly from HS, but have to play at least 1 season in G League, with maybe minimal time allowed for each player to spend a very short period of time on NBA roster. Kids learn the NBA ropes, get more games than college would give them, and NBA teams get to work with them sooner.
This is the obvious solution, but for some reason the NBA thinks it both needs to protect college basketball and that one-and-done players achieve that. I personally think both views are a bit silly. The foundation of college basketball is the alumni, and one-and-done players are only necessary for a handful of schools.