LaMelo Ball Is Trying To Buy A Pro Basketball Team Before Even Getting Into The NBA
For those of that don't follow basketball, there is a family called the Balls. They're basically like if the Jonas Brothers could hoop -- though the Jonas' as is could at least hit a free throw ...
... and were raised by Frank Reynolds from Always Sunny.
The oldest, Lonzo, was a star basketball player at UCLA who got to play for his hometown Lakers, and now plays in New Orleans. The other two brothers, emboldened by their big baller
businessman clown father, looked to have bright basketball futures ahead of them. LiAngelo, the middle child, is living up to every middle child cliche and is currently stuck in the NBA G-League. However, the youngest brother, LaMelo, is ready to be a very high draft pick if/when the NBA gets around to holding its draft this year.
His maturity, despite the well-documented antics of his family ...
... is very highly praised in NBA draft circles (not that we're privy to any of those, but still). He's about to get paid, is what that means. But before he even takes a professional shot in the NBA, he's dipping his toes into team ownership -- in Australia.
See, after some bizarre moves that seem largely driven by his father, LaMelo wasn't able to take the traditional high school -> one year of college -> NBA route. He played professionally in, we kid you not, Lithuania as a teenager before his dad blew that whole thing up (Weird how that keeps happening ...), and eventually got a halfway normal high school experience at an athletics-driven school in, ugh, Ohio. (Not even like LeBron James' old high school, it was some weird athletes-only thing near Cleveland.) Finally, LaMelo was able to head off to Australia to play for the Illawarra Hawks, and things finally got about as normal as they could for the kid.
The Hawks, however, have not had the greatest financial history. They've had investors pop in and out over the years, and are hard up even by Australian professional basketball standards. So while the Hawks won't say that a deal is done, LaMelo's "manager" Jermaine Jackson -- no, not that one -- seems to think otherwise. Where this gets interesting is that the expenses of an Australian basketball team -- such as salary, koala insurance, etc. look reasonably affordable to an NBA player. If LaMelo gets drafted in the top 10 this year, his NBA paycheck alone would more than cover the salaries of the entire roster of the Hawks.
It's a potentially steep investment, but there's no bigger baller move than owning a basketball team -- even if it's on the other side of the world.