LaVar Ball has been mostly quiet in the days leading up to the NBA season because he’s been coaching the JBA USA squad during the team’s international tour. His sons, LaMelo and LiAngelo, are on the team.
LaMelo, who recently turned 17, showed some encouraging maturity in an early JBA international game in Denmark. He then followed it up with an ejection for slapping a player in Lithuania. The JBA’s 135-127 overtime win against CSKA Moscow’s youth team again showed that there’s still plenty of room to improve for the youngest Ball brother.
This was a pass LaMelo actually attempted during a single-digit game.
Upon stealing LaMelo’s no-look, overhead heave, CSKA Moscow proceeded to knock down a 3 to make it a four-point game. That’s exactly what should happen after that kind of pass.
This wasn’t to say that LaMelo had a bad game – he didn’t. He finished with 31 points, 10 assists and that awful turnover was one of just three in the game. He shot 5 of 10 from 3-point range, so his efficiency is much improved from what we saw in the LKL and much of the JBA league season.
But that pass simply cannot happen if he’s trying to be taken seriously as a basketball player. There was no reason for it, and those kinds of plays will be tough to ignore when he is draft eligible in two years.
The JBA will continue its tour against BC Zenit Saint Petersburg on Sunday. You can check out the full game highlights here.
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