Putting the LIT in Lithuania
The Ball family have been making waves since arriving in Lithuania, but the hype was starting to wear off a bit. So, this weekend the Ball family dropped some news that would prove all naysayers wrong about the Big Baller Brand. Last week, Lavar made his pro coaching debut as assistant coach for his sons' Lithuanian team Vytautas. Now after just one game of assistant coaching success, he was promoted to head coach for the final exhibition game of the Big Baller Brand Challenge. He kicked off his debut like any other legendary coach would do. An electrifying pre game speech that was translated by a soft-spoken and monotonous Lithuanian, who probably felt like a moron just relaying this message.
Well, "Operation Beatdown" worked like a charm. This game featured a whole lot of offense and minimal defense with a final score of 151-120. Despite what traditional coaches think, Coach Lavar knows the best defense is a strong offense. His youngest son Melo went off with a triple double, and middle son Gelo had a solid performance with 31 points. With Lavar serving as assistant coach last week and head coach Sunday night, he now holds a pro coaching record of 2-0 and he is letting everyone know.
In a post game interview, the temporary head coach told the media "I don't lose, I can be a head coach anytime, trust me, this is easy for me."
This game went a lot smoother than his last game as head coach of the Big Baller AAU team. In that game, Lavar had Adidas remove a female ref from the game after his first technical, then got his second technical foul and refused to leave the game, eventually leading to the cancellation of the game. He followed that up by telling the female ref to "stay in her lane" one of Ball's many catch phrases. Usually he is amusing, however, this stunt was embarrassing by both Adidas for removing the female ref and by Lavar for being too Lavar.
Lavar consistently over steps his boundaries and it's beyond me how he has not clashed with the head coach of his son's Lithuanian team yet. Earlier this month, he publicly expressed his dislike of Laker's head coach Luke Walton and ridiculed his lack of control over his young team. Thankfully for Lonzo's sake, Lavar has taken a step back from the Lakers and has put all his attention and focus in Lithuania. So, It's only a matter of time before head coach Virginijus Seskus has had enough. Or is it? Europe and Asia seem to have a way of embracing and welcoming these outspoken, brash athletes and personalities that have been rejected from North American pro sport. Lithuania is all in on the Ball family and it seems like the Ball family is reciprocating.
Oldest son of the family and Los Angeles rookie guard, Zo, is planning to have his first rap concert ever this summer In LIThuania. This was announced during the Lithuanian M.A.M.A awards, which is widely considered the Grammys of Lithuania, according to Lavar. Is Lithuania a hip hop hot bed? Not exactly. But Lavar is a marketing genius with vision. He is well aware that he can sell out any venue with his son performing over there. Especially after the reputation the Ball family has developed in less than a month. I need the numbers on how many times Zo's first single "Melo Ball1" has streamed in Lithuania because I wouldn't be surprised if it topped the charts. Even the Los Angeles Lakers are seen here getting down to Lonzo's newest single Z02.
It's not just ZO, Melo and Lavar who are embracing their new found fame. The forgotten, middle child, Gelo, is even getting love out there in Lithuania! During the Ball families first press conference in Lithuania, a brave reporter asked the question "Does LiAngelo have a girl friend and if not will you go out with me?"
Gelo swerved the beautiful, bold, European reporter answering " I'm just here to play basketball."
An inquiry like that may be viewed as unprofessional here in North America, but the infectious circus that follows the Ball family around makes this question more appropriate than ever. Although, as a reporter you may want to do research because anyone who has been watching "Ball in the family" or follows them on Instagram would know about Gelo's gf Izzy.
Stay tuned for more of the Big Baller Brand pandemonium in LIThuania.