4 Flaws Behind Lavar Ball’s Big Baller Brand League

Stop me if you’ve head this before: Lavar Ball is in the news. The self proclaimed Big Baller announced this week he will be launching his own professional league for high school players who do not want to attend college for a year. The league would ideally, in Ball’s eyes, consist of ten teams, with eight players each. Each player would make anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

Like most things that come out of Lavar’s mouth, the league was heavily criticized by the basketball world. First off, I know this is just a ploy to get his two other sons playing in a “professional” league on American soil. That said, I don’t think the idea is a crazy one, but I do think there are flaws in the way from making this league a hit. Let’s look at four reasons the Big Baller League won’t work out.

Competition Level

Ball says this league is designed to jump start players’ careers. He thinks it will be easy to attract talent, but I disagree. Playing in the BBB League won’t be much different than playing in high school. More often than not, the best prospects already face off either in high school tournaments and showcases, or on the AAU circuit. If the best high school players go to this league, we’re not seeing if they are ready for the next level. The point of going to college is to see if a freshman is able to play at the speed of the college game, against older, more mature competition.

G League/One-and-Done Rule

Another factor is the progress the NBA is making in their developmental league, as well as their openness to altering the one and done rule. For one, if Adam Silver decides to eliminate the rule, Lavar’s league loses all excitement around it. He would not attract the top talent, that top talent would go to the league. It would be near impossible to field 80 players that would make fans excited. In addition, the NBA has gone to great lengths to develop to G League into a place where players can grow and mature, while being close to a NBA franchise. The players may not have the exposure of a prime time college game, or even Lavar’s league, but they are working with a NBA franchise. That cannot be topped in terms of developing.

Roster Size

Another thing to consider is the size of every team. Eight players is not enough to field a basketball team for a season. If we’re playing glorified pick up games from week-to-week then sure. But if this is going to be an actual league for players to showcase themselves, it needs to be legitimate. To play at an elite level, you need to be able to rotate more than eight players on a given night. What happens with foul trouble? Eight is not enough, and I don’t think he will be able to field ten teams of ten.

College Coaches

The last reason Lavar’s league won’t work for the premiere prospects is the knowledge they can learn from college coaches. Would Joel Embiid have developed so quickly had he not gone to Bill Self’s School of Bigs? Would the BBB League really get players more ready for the NBA than John Calipari does? Does anyone in the BBB League have the wealth of knowledge ¬†that Krzyzewski, Izzo, Boeheim, Beilein and Williams do? The answer is no. Maybe you’re not making the money (save your pay for play jokes) but you can’t put a price on playing for a Hall of Fame coach before you go to the NBA. In many cases, playing for them will only help you make more money in the long run.

Lavar Ball is a marketing genius. He convinced people to buy a pair of sneakers for $500. He is literally talking his sons, and his brand, into existence. His idea is not insane by any means. Is the BBB League better than playing in, I don’t know, Lithuania? Absolutely. But for the real blue chip players, there are better options and better ways to market yourself to NBA teams. Lavar Ball is definitely the type of guy capable of running a league. However, that league is probably closer to the XFL than any league for high school basketball prospects.

About James

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of