LiAngelo Ball is leaving the UCLA program at LaVar Ball’s behest, according to TMZ:
We’re told LaVar believes the suspension [for shoplifting] was unfair, especially since the charges were dropped. LaVar’s people tell TMZ the famous dad thinks, “There’s no need to break down a kid’s spirit for making a mistake.”
If this is actually how this all went down, this is a blessing in disguise — or maybe even not that much in disguise — for Steve Alford and UCLA. Given that LiAngelo is not nearly the talent of Lonzo, he was not going to be a major contributor on the court for the Bruins. The youngest Ball, LaMelo, probably won’t be eligible for NCAA given that he already has his own signature shoe.
It’s absurd to suggest that LiAngelo and his fellow teammates shouldn’t have been suspended for shoplifting in China, especially given the international news it caused, and drawing President Trump into the story.
I guess we’ll have to see what’s in store for LiAngelo now, because it’s hard to envision any school wanting him to play basketball there.
UPDATE: LaVar Ball has confirmed the news to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman: