While Lonzo Ball was navigating the landscape of the NBA as a rookie, his brothers were trying to figure out life as professional basketball players in Lithuania. As a refresher, LaVar Ball pulled LiAngelo out of school at UCLA following a shoplifting incident in China. This came a few months after he pulled LaMelo out of high school in California because he wasn’t a fan of the new coach.
The pair needed a place to play, so they agreed to terms with BC Prienai-Skycop in Lithuania. As for how that went, well, they had some really good games, but on the whole, it didn’t sound like anyone had an especially good time with the arrangement. This was also true of the team’s coach, Virginijus Seskus, who once called LaMelo a “little chipmunk.”
Well as it turns out, Seskus liked the arrangement less than he let on. Seskus spoke out about coaching the Ball brothers and dealing with the Ball family, going as far as to say he believed they tried “destroying the club.”
“The first and most crucial mistake we made was allowing them, especially LaVar, think that they are in charge of the club — its decisions, its plans and even the game,” Seskus said in a release, according to The Comeback. “His boys were nowhere near the level of the LKL, let alone NBA, which league obviously understands, seeing the draft outcome. And the most disappointing fact was that they had no inner drive to become better. And when they saw it was going nowhere, they started destroying the club, not paying out prize money to the Big Baller Brand tournament winners, etc.”
There are a number of allegations against the Balls in the statement — that the family viewed their time in Lithuania as “merely a joke” and an attempt to “breathe life into their dying TV show,” and that the family’s decision to abruptly leave the club and pull its financial support (including gifts, such as shooting machines) left BC Prienai-Skycop “without sponsorship and base for future planning.”
It’s the latest criticism to pop up of the way LaVar Ball conducts business. The Better Business Bureau gave Big Baller Brand an F rating earlier this year, while a player in Ball’s Junior Basketball Association claimed that he only received a fraction of the salary he was promised during his time in the league. Neither LaVar Ball nor his sons have responded to Seskus’ claims about their time in Lithuania.
(Via The Comeback)