LaMelo Ball tries to showboat with team up 44, backfires in embarrassing fashion


When it comes to LaVar Ball or any of his three basketball-playing sons, virtually everything they do generates a reaction on social media.

When LiAngelo and younger brother LaMelo combined to score 29 points in their Lithuanian basketball debut — an exhibition game victory last week — more than 100,000 people watched the game via the internet. When the duo were shut out in their professional debut Saturday, social media had some laughs at their expense.

Monday, fans of the Ball brothers and their skeptics each had something to throw in the other side’s face.

The Big Baller Brand was more than happy to see the pair combine for 60 points — albeit in another exhibition game against second-stringers — in a 130-93 rout over Lietuvos-Rytas-2.

LaMelo Ball finished with 31 points, three of which came on this buzzer-beater just before halftime.

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LiAngelo Ball was the star of the second half, scoring 20 of his 29 points after intermission.

The lopsided game also produced a moment that provided plenty of guffaws for the Big Baller critics.

With his team leading by 44 points with less than two minutes remaining, 16-year-old LaMelo Ball had a chance for a breakaway basket. He tried to throw himself a pass off the backboard and slam home a dunk.

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What should have been an easy basket turned into an embarrassing moment for Ball.

It’s still early to draw too many conclusions about the Ball brothers and how they compare with the talent in Lithuania. They’ve done well against the lesser-level players in the two exhibition games, but the bigger test comes against the top-level teams in the league.

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If LaVar Ball’s dream of having LiAngelo and LaMelo join older brother Lonzo in the NBA is to come to fruition at some point, the younger brothers are going to have to prove they can excel against the top players internationally.

Monday’s game was part of the five-game exhibition series the Ball brothers’ Lithuanian team, Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas, put together shortly after they joined the team as an attempt to get them some extra playing time and experience against other Lithuanian players.

The next game for Vytautas is Wednesday.

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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