LaVar Ball told local journalist Donatas Urbonas that he and BC Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus ‘just didn’t get along’
Infamous basketball dad LaVar Ball is in another feud with one of his sons’ coaches, and this time he’s pulling his two youngest, LiAngelo and LaMelo, off of their Lithuanian club team as it tries to stave off relegation with two games remaining in the regular season.
LaVar told local journalist Donatas Urbonas that he and BC Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus ‘just didn’t get along.’
‘We’re not going to waste our time no more,’ LaVar told Urbonas, adding, ‘Coach ruined everything and he’ll have to pay the price that Melo is not coming back.’
Seskus had recently stopped babying the Ball brothers in public.
‘Their [poor] defense is becoming blatantly obvious to everyone,’ Seskus said, according to freelance journalist Simonas Baranauskas.
The move is not a surprise given LaVar’s history of pulling his sons off of their respective teams after he’s publicly feuded with their coaches.
LaMelo, playing against adults for the first time in his life, averaged just 6.5 points in 12 minutes a game for BC Prienu Vytautas. Of course, he is only 16-years old
LiAngelo, who recently declared for the draft, was averaging a team-high 14.2 points over a dozen games, but was battling an ankle injury
LaVar quarreled with several of his sons’ coaches at Chino Hills High School in California before publicly criticizing UCLA’s Steve Alford during his oldest son Lonzo’s only collegiate season. LaVar would go on to disparage Lonzo’s current coach with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, Luke Walton, claiming his players did not want to play for him.
When LiAngelo was suspended for the 2017-2018 season by UCLA after he and teammates were caught stealing designer sunglasses during a team trip to China, LaVar responded by pulling his middle son out of school and sending him to play in Lithuania with 16-year-old LaMelo, who he had previously pulled out of high school.
LiAngelo apologized after he was caught stealing sunglasses during a UCLA Bruins team trip to China in November
BC Vytautas had a difficult season in the LKL, Lithuania’s top pro league. Despite that, LaVar still managed to showcase his sons by creating local tournaments sponsored by his apparel company, Big Baller Brand.
And because the mid-season tournaments were seen as less important than regular season LKL games, the Ball brothers tended to shoot at will, which may have irked their coach and teammates.
‘Lithuanian basketball isn’t a place where you just about anybody can come and play [well],’ Seskus told Baranauskas. ‘You could stay that I gave them more minutes to realize that… playing the style of basketball they want to play, we will lose against teams in the LKL.’
LiAngelo, who recently declared for the NBA Draft, was averaging a team-high 14.2 points over a dozen games, but was battling an ankle injury.
LaMelo, playing against adults for the first time in his life, averaged just 6.5 points in 12 minutes a game.
LaVar quarreled with several of his sons’ coaches at Chino Hills High School in California before publicly criticizing UCLA’s Steve Alford during his oldest son Lonzo’s only collegiate season. LaVar would go on to disparage Lonzo’s current coach with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, Luke Walton (pictured with Lonzo), claiming his players did not want to play for him
Lithuanian Basketball club Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus, left, talks to his player LaMelo Ball during a training session at the BC Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas arena
During the ‘Big Baller Brand’ tournament, LaVar Ball (seated) served as an assistant coach under Virginijus Seskus (right). Seskus was more concerned with the team’s regular season
When LiAngelo (center) was suspended for the 2017-2018 season by UCLA after he and teammates were caught stealing designer sunglasses during a team trip to China, LaVar (right) responded by pulling his middle son out of school and sending him to play in Lithuania with 16-year-old LaMelo (left), who he had previously pulled out of high school
LaVar’s latest mission is to see all three sons playing together on the Lakers, and he recently told Urbonas.
‘I want all my three boys to play for the Lakers,’ said LaVar, a Southern California native who briefly played basketball at Washington State. ‘But if that does not happen, I’m telling you the story what’s gonna happen first. If they don’t take Gelo [LiaAngelo] this year, I bring Gelo here to play with Melo [LaMelo] for two years.
‘Lonzo will be on his third year and I want to let every NBA team know that Lonzo is not going to re-sign with the Lakers but will go to any team that will take all of my three boys,’ he said. ‘That’s my plan.’
UCLA’s Steve Alford is just one of the many basketball coaches who have been publicly criticized by LaVar Ball
That ‘plan,’ as he calls it, could ultimately cost Lonzo dearly as the former UCLA star will only be a restricted free agent in three years.
So while he would be free to sign with any team that can fit him under the salary cap, the Lakers would have the right to match any offer and retain his services.
And while the Lakers could theoretically draft 19-year-old LiAngelo or 16-year-old LaMelo when they become eligible, they might not want to.
Unlike Lonzo, who was taken second overall in the June draft after a stellar freshman season at UCLA, LiAngelo is not considered an NBA prospect.
Lonzo, for instance, was highly recruited before starring at UCLA and LaMelo made a name for himself by scoring 92 points in a high school game last season before being pulled out school by LaVar.
Considered the lowest-rated recruit of UCLA’s freshman class, the 6ft5 LiAngelo was given three out of five stars on ESPN’s college basketball recruiting page, which criticized his lack of lateral quickness and overall defense.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, LiAngelo was said to have ‘no chance’ at being drafted in the June NBA Draft, and ‘that was true before his shoplifting incident in China.’
LiAngelo previously made national news while visiting China with his now-former UCLA Bruins teammates in November.
Along with fellow freshman Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, LiAngelo admittedly stole designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, where the team was staying ahead of their season opener against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on November 10.
The three spent less than two days in jail before being released and eventually sent back to the United States on November 14.
Upon their arrival in Los Angeles, it was announced that all three would be suspended indefinitely by the School.
Feeling impatient, LaVar and LiAngelo announced the latter’s intention to pull out of the school so he can focus on preparing for the 2018 NBA Draft.
LiAngelo has already declared for the draft, although he isn’t considered a top prospect