LiAngelo Ball’s workout with the Los Angeles Lakers sounds like some kind of disaster.
It’s pretty rare that an assessment of such a workout is this honest. Usually, you get something along the lines of “well it could have gone better but the team has more information in their database on the prospect in question.” Even Lonzo got a second workout last year.
Here’s how, well, just about everyone in the media put it, starting with Marc Stein.
A dribble of draft scuttle for those interested: The Lakers had LiAngelo Ball in for a well-chronicled workout this week but there is pessimism in the extreme coming out of L.A. today that the Lakers have any intentions for him … G-League or otherwise— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 30, 2018
Then Ramona Shelburne added her two cents:
Yep. As one observer put it, "He tried hard." https://t.co/m6S6FcYKMq— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2018
Sam Amick let it be known a couple times over:
The Lakers front office will meet today to discuss the latest workouts and prospects, but I don’t expect to ever see LiAngelo in purple and gold.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) May 30, 2018
Oh, and then Jeff Goodman (who traveled to Europe to cover the Ball brothers) offered up his couple pennies. This pretty much eliminates LiAngelo’s involvement with the Lakers in any capacity.
The NBA executives I have spoken to about LiAngelo Ball have all said that they don’t feel he’s talented enough to play in the G-League. https://t.co/ECv8ybnuHa— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 30, 2018
The most fun (Editor’s Note: And completely unsubstantiated) theory for this is that it’s Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s way of getting back at LaVar Ball for all the nonsense he spews (most recently taking a jab at the team’s training staff). It’s fairly doubtful that’s actually what happened here, but there was a report about Bryan Colangelo setting up burner accounts to crap on his players so really very few things are out of the question at this point.
What will be fascinating to monitor will be LaVar’s response to this. The last time LiAngelo saw himself on the outside looking into any basketball situation, LaVar pulled him out of UCLA and LaMelo out of high school to create the Big Baltic Brand.
In terms of LiAngelo’s draft prospects, just about everyone should have seen this coming. As I wrote yesterday, he simply doesn’t have the skills or physical gifts to be deemed a legitimate NBA prospect, no matter how talented his older brother is.
Maybe that changes with more time overseas, but for now, it looks like the Ball family will only be represented by Lonzo in the NBA.