By Dan Bernstein —
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(670 The Score) At every turn of his self-centered basketball circus, LaVar Ball can count on a sizable number of vocal supporters insisting that he and his overpriced shoes are a step ahead, with each next bizarre turn just a well-considered move in some game of chess whose rules only he understands.
But the end game is more uncertain than ever now, as he has launched a plan to send his two younger sons out of the country to pursue the sport. It’s a glaring deviation from his previously stated strategy of funneling Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo all through UCLA and toward the Lakers and the NBA and a seeming capitulation to LiAngelo’s indefinite suspension from the school for the China shoplifting incident that has now caught his 16-year-old up in the aftereffects.
Family agent Harrison Gaines’ show of offering the younger brothers to teams worldwide has been met with responses ranging from polite skepticism to outright derision, noting that most international clubs are limited in the number of Americans they can employ and would be unlikely to want anything to do with the antics of LaVar that are of an idiom not well understood in other cultures. A minor team in a smaller country may want some kind of short-term stunt, but the higher pressure to win in competitive foreign leagues will forestall such a transparent effort.
Ball may still be commanding headlines here with such things as his graphic trolling of the president and grandiose proclamations into any open microphone he can find, but his desperation is becoming palpable and increasingly unfortunate.