The 2021-22 season can only be described as an unmitigated success for the Ball family in the world of professional basketball. LaMelo Ball is well on his way to superstar status in a stellar second season for the Charlotte Hornets, and Lonzo Ball has seemingly found his footing with Chicago Bulls as they ascend into contending status. The last Ball brother awaiting his shot at NBA glory is LiAngelo, but if his father has his way, he won't be waiting much longer.
The middle Ball brother currently plays for the Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte's G League affiliate, but LaVar Ball went off on the NBA club in an interview with TMZ Sports for keeping his son out of the big leagues. "They don't understand what they got," Ball said. "They need to let my boy go ahead and play."
"I dropped them a superstar in the G League and they don't know what to do with him," he continued. Of course, there is little evidence suggesting that is true. LiAngelo Ball has averaged just 9.3 points per game for Greensboro, and while there have been highs like his 22-point outing against the Birmingham Squadron, his most recent game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers saw him go scoreless. While Ball's G League career is still young, his failure to make a consistent mark there thus far doesn't exactly scream future NBA star.
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But the situation is delicate for the Hornets. No matter what they think of LiAngelo, LaMelo is the face of their franchise and keeping him happy is essential. Plenty of teams have signed the underwhelming brothers of their more accomplished players largely to appease those stars, with Thanasis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee being the primary present example, but LaVar's presence as a media instigator makes things significantly more complicated for the Hornets. As long as LaMelo keeps playing like a superstar, LaVar is going to have the leverage to keep pushing LiAngelo on the franchise as part of a package deal.