Please, Papa Ball, don’t make your middle son, and arguably the least talented of the Ball boys, LiAngelo Ball, actually attend the draft. On Tuesday it was announced that the Marlon Jackson of the Ball family, who already ruined his collegiate career by dropping out of UCLA to play professional basketball in Lithuania, has declared for the NBA draft, according to his agent, ESPN reports.
That doesn’t mean that the Rob Kardashian of the Ball brood will actually be drafted. Which means that having the Randy DeBarge of the Ball bunch show up not to hear his name called will be not only embarrassing for him but heartwarming for the legions of haters who openly dislike the Ball family.
I’m not one of them. I think for all of LaVar Ball’s antics, he’s done a nice job of monetizing mediocre success. Somehow, LaVar’s antics have earned him a spot in the American lexicon as a cross between a WWE personality and an actual loving and caring father. He’s parlayed this persona into a YouTube show, several television appearances, a shoe for all three of his boys bearing his family name, a showdown in a three-point contest against Ice Cube and an actual WWE appearance. Not bad for a middle-aged man living his best Chino Hills, Calif., life.
Where the seniormost Ball took a turn for me was when he pulled his youngest son, LaMelo, out of high school and his middle son, LiAngelo, out of college under questionable circumstances. That’s the point where the record scratched and the house party got all fucked up.
LaVar Ball didn’t like the direction the new basketball coach of Chino Hills High School, so he literally took his Ball and went home. He pulled LaMelo, then a 16-year-old junior, out of high school, claiming that he was going to homeschool him while making him the best basketball player ever. Then, after LiAngelo was caught stealing Louis Vuitton sunglasses with two other UCLA teammates during a trip to China, LiAngelo was suspended from the team and Ball pulled him from college and enrolled both boys in a lower-tier Lithuania-league team in hopes of making them stars. Both boys have played well on a team that doesn’t see talent even remotely close to the G League.
And now LiAngelo is taking his nine-game-junior-varsity-level pro experience to the NBA. Something tells me that if LaVar forces his son to go to the actual NBA draft event, we are all going to be watching close-up shots of him sitting there in an ill-colored suit as his name is not called. Out of the three Ball boys, LiAngelo is the least intriguing.
Back in December, shortly after LiAngelo left UCLA, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted that no NBA executives were even remotely considering drafting the Eric Trump of the Ball bunch.
Here’s to hoping that Big Ball has some other tricks up his sleeve, because something tells me that having the Eric Roberts of the Ball bevy joining the NBA draft wasn’t a really smart move.