Ever since LaVar Ball came into the spotlight, he's always demanded to do things his way. When his son played at UCLA, "his way" demanded that Lonzo played for the Lakers. When the big mega-companies refused to sponsor the Baller Brand, "his way" instead demanded that he never needed them in the first place. And when LiAngelo got suspended for shoplifting in China, LaVar Ball went "his way," by blowing off the college league entirely and sending his kids to play overseas.
Now, LaVar is planning to make "his way" available for any top prospect High School kid who wants to skip the NCAA.
LaVar admitted that himself on Wednesday, saying that he's launching a basketball league for nationally ranked players who have graduated from high school and don't want to go to college. This new Junior Basketball Association (JBA) -- which he said is fully funded by his Big Baller Brand -- plans to pay the lowest-ranked player a salary of $3,000 a month and the best player $10,000 a month. Ball is seeking 80 players to fill 10 teams, who will play at NBA arenas in Los Angeles, Dallas, Brooklyn, and Atlanta.
It sounds like a daunting task. But for LaVar, it's nothing he has doubts about.
"Getting these players is going to be easy," Ball told ESPN. "This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we're going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids."
Fighting an association like the NCAA is never advisable, especially with the reputation LaVar has. But, admittedly, there are a few desirable factors to his proposed league. For one, athletes will get paid, which is a huge leg-up on the current college system. Secondly, Ball plans to follow NBA rules and guidelines, which will better prepare prospects for the NBA. And, finally, youngsters don't have to worry about classes or institutions. They'll be free to focus on basketball.
Regarding the progress, LaVar does have a few things in place. The logo, for example, features his son (Lonzo) going up for a dunk on the rim. He also has a clear message/motive for the league, saying "Those kids who are one-and-done, they shouldn't be there with the NCAA trying to hold them, hostage, not allowing them to keep the jersey they wear while selling replicas of them in stores."
There are no players -- yet. But if he stays committed to the project, it could truly change the landscape of youth basketball forever.