Shortly after LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball agreed to a deal with the Lithuanian pro basketball team Prienu Vytautas in early December, one of the first concerns that most people expressed was over whether the Ball brothers would ever even suit up for the squad. Those who follow the various pro leagues located overseas pointed out that it was unlikely either Ball brother would log time in the Lithuanian pro league, and while there was some speculation about them potentially playing in the less competitive Baltic League, even that didn’t seem like a slam dunk.
LiAngelo and LaMelo have finally made their way to Lithuania and are expected to be available to play on Monday when Prienu Vytautas takes on Tsmoki-Minsk in a Baltic League contest. But as of right now, it’s still unclear how much either brother will play, if at all, once they start suiting up for the team. There’s a chance they could each log a couple minutes just to appease the Prienu Vytautas fans before making their way back to the bench.
It sounds like Prienu Vytautas is going to try and get extra creative to find the brothers some additional playing time, though. According to an ESPN report, Prienu Vytautas general manager Adomas Kubilius is currently attempting to put together a brand new tournament that would allow for LiAngelo and LaMelo to log extensive minutes without sacrificing the Prienu Vytautas team’s record in their regular leagues. The tournament, which could potentially take place later this month, would see Prienu Vytautas play five home games against a handful of EuroLeague teams.
"We’re talking to teams like Zalgiris and CSKA Moscow about playing in it," Kubilius told ESPN. "It would be an opportunity for them to play more games and play against players of similar age."
The problem Prienu Vytautas faces right now is that, while their fans are likely going to show up in droves to see the Balls play, the brothers are much younger than most of their competition and haven’t ever played in pro games. So putting them out on the court for extended periods of time could be disastrous, which is why they’re exploring other options to find them the playing time they’re looking for.
If the tournament ends up coming together, it could be the perfect solution for Prienu Vytautas. But if it doesn’t, there’s really no telling how much the Ball brothers will play in the coming weeks. There’s also no telling what LaVar Ball’s reaction would be if his boys don’t end up playing much. It should be interesting to see how all of this unfolds, even if LiAngelo and LaMelo ultimately end up glued to the bench.