Thursday was a big day for the Ball family: LiAngelo hoped to hear his name called in the NBA Draft, and LaVar officially launched his new basketball league, the Junior Basketball Association. It appears neither event, however, went as LaVar would have hoped.
LiAngelo went undrafted—though it appears he has received a Summer League invitation from his brother's team, the Lakers—and the JBA didn't have much of an audience.
Meanwhile, the JBA is underway. A very empty stadium for the first game of the night. 😳😳 pic.twitter.com/V03PtVS3Nf— ProCity Hoops™ (@ProCityHoops) June 22, 2018
From the looks of it, several hundred fans attended the league debut at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The JBA used black curtains to cover empty seats in the upper decks.
Wow this JBA looks Packed af lavar really do his thing 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤟🏾🤟🏾 pic.twitter.com/UZ9abtdwJd— butler (@Porzzingod21) June 22, 2018
LaVar spoke at center court at one point, and he didn't seem discouraged—is that man ever discouraged?
"They said nobody's coming to this," LaVar said. "Everybody here is somebody. Nobody here is nobody."
Granted, it's a new league, and it's going to take a while to get off the ground. Furthermore, you couldn't expect big numbers when the league's launch coincided with the NBA Draft.
LaMelo Ball was the biggest star of the day, leading the Los Angeles Ballers over the New York Ballers (yes, the teams are all named Ballers), 134-124.
Final— Manny Alvarez (@MAlvarez02) June 22, 2018
Los Angeles 134
New York 124
LA stats: LaMelo Ball- 40 pts, 11 reb, 9 ast, 3 stls. Greg Floyd Jr.- 34 pts, 17 rebs. Niles Malone- 41 pts, 3 stl
NY stats: Calvin Brown- 31 pts, 8 reb, Morissana Camara- 21 pts, 14 reb. Magd Abdelwahab- 15 pts, 5 ast, 11 reb#jbaleague
Broadcasts of both opening games are available on the JBA's official Facebook page.