Someone will acute business acumen will be snapping up all of the available LaMelo Ball Illawarra Hawks jerseys, because the will do nothing by increase in value when the promising youngster departs the NBL for the Promised Land.
Ball is considered a top NBA draft prospect come June of 2020, so his stint in the NBL will be a short one, so scarcity might further increase the value of his shirts.
Ball showed, or at least permitted himself to be shown, a keen sense of fiscal responsibility by turning professional and being paid for what he otherwise would do for free if he had gone the NCAA collegiate route.
He embarked on that course before the ruling that players in one of the NCAA codes were free to earn money for their work. His NCAA eligibility was in some degree of limbo, as he had sold his endorsement to one of the shoe companies.
LaMelo did not wake up one morning to a startling epiphany that he was ahead by skipping college.
His older sibling Lonzo and LiAngelo were able to offer valuable perspectives and his father LaVar seems to act as the capo for a family that has its priorities sorted.
That priority is money.
Just 18, LaMelo could be earning millions by this time next year. If he plays 12 seasons in the NBA, he can always go to college and get his degree is the history of the minivan or whatever topics he would have “studied” as an unpaid NCAA employee.
Projections show the youngest Ball going with one of the first five picks in the next NBA draft.
About the only credential he lacks is that of taking Illawarra out of the NBL depths and into relevance, but we doubt there is anyone on the planet with that capability.
The Breakers improved to 3 – 8 on the 2019 NBL season, despite Ball’s 25-point, 12-rebound and 10-assist outburst.
Ball is the first player to record successive NBL triple-doubles since the league switched to a 40-minute game 10 years ago.
The Hawks, despite another Ball triple-double, fell 91 – 79 to the New Zealand Breakers, who broke a five-game losing streak despite Ball’s.