LaMelo Ball’s return to Lithuania, where he previously played professionally before returning to the U.S. produced a spectacularly controversial result.
LaMelo was supposed to play in 28 games over the course of three months. It’s unlikely any of these games will be noteworthy but today’s game, the second of 28 which featured plenty of drama as 17-year old LaMelo was ejected for slapping an opponent in the head following a drive to the basket.
LaMelo shoved the defender under the hoop once the ball was out of bounds and that player responded by tapping LaMelo on the back of his head. The youngest Ball brother quickly clapped back with a left-handed slap before teammates from both sides got into the mix.
Both teams eventually got involved in the short-lived skirmish, but Sušinskas and Ball were at the center of attention.
LaMelo Ball doing his best Rick James impersonation with the Lithuanian Charlie Murphy. pic.twitter.com/JYos8uBLnI
— David Astramskas (@redapples) October 1, 2018
While it was not a totally irrational reaction from LaMelo, the youngest Ball brother has to try and do a better job of keeping his cool while he’s representing the United States overseas. The Ball brothers already don’t have the best reputation internationally.
— Big Baller Brand Media (@theballera) October 1, 2018
Fortunately or not for LaMelo, this is far from the most controversial international incident the Ball family had so far. LiAngelo Ball, who was with UCLA briefly, was caught shoplifting during a team trip to China. He and several of his teammates were arrested in the incident and not allowed to leave China for a brief period, but eventually returned. He withdrew from UCLA before playing a single game.
The JBA will be making stops all across Europe and Asia over the next few weeks, including stops in Germany, France, Croatia, China, and the Philippines. The JBA’s 13-man All-Star roster includes LaMelo’s brother LiAngelo, as well as their LA Ballers teammates Gregory Floyd and Melvin Davis.