LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Leigh Steinberg, one of the most well-known sports agents, expressed bewilderment Tuesday for LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball’s choice to play professionally in Lithuania, a move likely orchestrated by their father LaVar.
Steinberg, once dubbed the “Super Agent” has represented over 300 athletes, including eight No. 1 NFL draft picks, in his 40-plus year career and was the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire. He said this is most concerning for 16-year-old LaMelo who was recently yanked out of high school by his dad to be home-schooled.
“This is a very strange experiment. We’ve never seen anything like this before.” Steinberg said in an interview with KNX1070.
The two younger Ball brothers of Lakers rookie Lonzo signed contracts Monday to play with a Lithuanian team for the rest of the season, according to their agent.
The brothers will join the team in January and have reportedly discussed a role of playing 20-25 minutes a game. Their team plays in the “Baltic League,” a less competitive league than the country’s top level “Lithuanian League.”
The club plays in a 1,700-seat arena and is from a small village of around 10,000 people.
LiAngelo Ball did not play in any of the Bruins’ eight games this season after being suspended indefinitely by UCLA for his involvement in a shoplifting incident during the team’s season-opening trip to China.
Father LaVar Ball recently withdrew LaMelo from Chino Hills High, where he was a junior, and said he was going to home school him. LaMelo scored 92 points in a Chino Hills high game last season.