LaMelo Ball and its manager, Jermaine Jackson, bought the Illawarra Hawks, a franchise of the National Basketball League in Australia, according to ESPN.
Ball, 18, played for the Hawks last season, averaging 17 points, seven assists and eight rebounds per game, before being named NBL rookie of the year. Ball’s connection to Australia goes beyond the purchase of the struggling financial franchise that had sparked interest from rival owner Sydney Kings. Three months ago, he donated one month of his NBL salary to victims of bush fires in Australia. Ball has also signaled his desire to return to the Land Down Under regularly during the NBA off season.
The youngest brother of the New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball, LaMelo had a unique and well-traveled career. After playing two seasons at Chino Hills High School in California, Ball hired an agent and signed with Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He then returned to the United States to sign with the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association (led by Ball’s father LaVar Ball). Ball then joined high school basketball playing for SPIRE Institute, a private high school in Geneva, Ohio. After spending his senior season there, he moved to Australia with Jackson, his trainer at SPIRE.
Few American basketball players, let alone teenagers, can say they have played on five teams on three continents, particularly with a university team that is not one of them. Many players also can’t tell how they went from high school basketball to professional basketball, then back to high school basketball, and then onto professional hoops once again.
SI NBA Draft Guru Jeremy Woo Predicts Detroit Pistons Select Ball With fifth general choice. Ball is a consensual lottery choice among fake projects, with some expecting it to be selected from the top three choices.
Despite his professional experience, Ball was not eligible for previous NBA projects. Under article X of the NBA collective agreement, an American player can only become eligible for the draft if he is at least 19 years old and at least one NBA season has passed since he was graduated from high school or, if he did not graduate, when he would have graduated.
A journey that could inspire other young basketball players to avoid the NCAA
Ball’s purchase of a professional team seems to capture his entrepreneurial spirit. It could also attract other young basketball freaks to consider looking for professional opportunities instead of NCAA basketball.
In 2017, Ball designed its own Big Baller Brand sneaker, with the product name MELLO BALL 1 or MB1. She was dubbed “the first signature shoe launched by a high school basketball player” and, for a time, sold on the BBB website for $ 395. Ball has traced a path which does not correspond to the norm and which defies conventional logic. He mixed the development of his basketball skills with compensation for his work and the commercial use of his name, image and likeness.
At a time when the NCAA was pressured by the California Fair Pay to Play Act and similar initiatives to allow student athletes to control their identity rights, Ball embarked on a career that resembles that actors, musicians, influencers and teenage esports players. all of whom tend to make money when the market demands their services. The course of the ball also reminds European basketball players, who sometimes become pro from 14 or 15 years old. With more opportunities to play overseas and a better-paid G League, the NCAA could find itself with more competition for young basketball talent.
Own a pro basketball team while playing in the NBA
Could Ball’s purchase of an NBL team and its “player-owner” status create complications with the NBA?
Most likely, no. However, the transaction highlights how investments by NBA players can occasionally create the risk of a conflict of interest.
In 2012, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett sought to buy shares in Italian football team A.S. Roma. Apparently, the pending transaction did not seem problematic. AS. Roma and the Celtics are teams involving different sports and play in different leagues. If Garnett had wanted to buy real estate or invest in a technology start-up, he would have been well in his rights. The same goes for buying a stake in a football team.
The problem for Garnett was not that he wanted to buy from a sports team, or any other type of business, for that matter. It was who else was holding capital in this investment opportunity.
American billionaire James Pallota was co-owner and president of A.S. Roma. Pallota also had an uncontrolled interest in the Celtics. Under Article XXIX of the CBA, NBA players are prohibited from acquiring or holding a direct or indirect interest in any business or entity that itself has an interest in an NBA team. In other words, Article XXIX generally prohibits a player and the owner of a team from collaborating on commercial projects.
The underlying logic is simple: the NBA does not want the owners to use business collaborations as a way to compensate players outside of their player contracts and in violation of the salary cap. At this point, Article XIII, the ABC’s anti-circumvention clause, also prohibits teams from compensating players beyond the contract. This is true of “side agreements” and additional forms of employment, such as a team owner who hires an active player to double as a team manager or scout. While there was no reason to believe that Garnett and Pallota were attempting to use AS Roma as a vehicle for the Celtics to pass an advantage on to Garnett outside of his contract, the applicable test was not their intention . The question was whether a proposed collaboration violated the rules.
With Ball’s purchase of the Hawks, there does not appear to be a risk of a CBA violation. Ball and Jackson appear to be buying a full stake in the Hawks, which are owned by telecommunications entrepreneur Simon Strafford. However, if the deal is more complicated than it sounds or involves anyone with equity in the NBA teams, the ABC could become a potential problem.
The ball with an NBL team also recalls the anti-forgery provisions of the NBA, which are detailed in articles 35 and 35A of the statutes of the league. An NBA team owner, general manager, coach, scout or player cannot attempt to persuade someone employed by another team to join the forgery team. Of course, NBA players are technically “tampering” all the time, including when they’re together at Star Weekend and other events where they try to encourage their rivals to team up one day. The NBA did not punish players for this kind of activity. It’s a different story for NBA owners and team executives.
The falsification provisions do not apply to Ball’s relations with the NBL. While Ball will own a pro basketball team, he will not own an NBA team (at least not for the chapter of his life where he plays in the NBA). He will be an NBA player and considered one by the league.