LaMelo Ball and his manager Jermaine Jackson announced they made serious power move, but it looks like that deal hasn’t been finalized yet.
The Australian NBL has basically said to Ball and his manager that they have too much dip on their chip at the moment. Jackson announced on ESPN that he and his client purchased Ball’s Australian team, the Illawarra Hawks.
“We own the team,” he said. “It’s a done deal.”
In a statement, the Hawks revealed the deal has not yet been finalized stating:
“The league can confirm LaMelo Ball and his management had discussions about being involved with the club while he was playing in the NBL last season.
“At this point, we are continuing to work with current license holder Simon Stratford on a number of options for what we hope will be a fruitful outcome for Illawarra and the NBL.
“The NBL has final approval on any transfer of license, and no application has been made to date. The NBL has no further comment at this stage.”
While under the impression the deal was done, Jackson, who played in the NBA for five seasons with the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks explained how much LaMelo loved playing ball in the country and how welcomed he felt.
“Melo loves the Illawarra fans. He loves that community. They opened their arms to him. They made us feel like we are at home. When we started hearing about the issues they were going through, we talked about it and decided, ‘Let’s own the team.’
“He is going to be locked into his NBA career, but we are going to hire the right people to oversee everything. He wants to create the best basketball program possible for that community there.”
During his short stint with the Hawks, LaMelo only played in 12 games but did manage to average 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in 12 games and had back to back triple-doubles before going down with a season-ending foot injury. His play was good enough that he is expected to be a top 5 draft pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman projects that Ball be the selected with the No.3 pick by Minnesota Timberwolves.
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / Getty