LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball set to make their debuts today
LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball, sons of outspoken father LaVar and brothers of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo, are scheduled to make their debuts with Lithuanian team, Vytautas. Jeff Goodman is one of ESPN’s representatives in Lithuania covering the Ball family.
Goodman reports about Vytautas head coach’s comments before the Ball brothers’ anticipated debut:
Vytautas coach Virginijus Seskus told ESPN LaMelo & LiAngelo will play 20-25 minutes in debuts today (1:30 pm ET). One will start. Seskus on how he’ll coach them: “I can’t push them too hard right away,” he said. He laughed & said, “I’ll be tougher on them once their dad leaves.”
The game will be streamed live on Facebook for anyone wanting to watch.
Goodman also informs that Big Baller Brand’s presence will not only be present through LaMelo and LiAngelo:
Team (Vytautas) is re-doing the court with Big Baller decals right now. LaVar and the Big Baller Brand to give $2,000 total to the winner of the game tonight between Vytautas and Zalgiris second team. MVP will also get a pair of Lonzo’s shoes.
ESPN’s Mike Schmitz notes that watching how the Ball brothers adapt to their new team will be very interesting. At Chino Hills High School, they both had almost full control of the offense and most everything was run through them. Now that the Balls are playing on a pro team with a handful of talented prospects, they will need to adapt to working off the ball at times and increasing the communication with their teammates to make things work. Watching the two-man action and pick-and-rolls between LaMelo and Haitian center Kervin Bristol — another new acquisition from Vytautas — is an intriguing aspect that attracts even more attention.
Zalgiris 2, the team Vytautas will face, is the development team for the prestigious Lithuanian club. Their development team consists of players between 16 and 21-years old, but only their under-18 prospects are expected to play against Vytautas. This would be excellent news for the Ball brothers, as they will have the chance of facing prospects in the same age range. This gives them, and scouts, an idea of how they rank amongst their peers.