“LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball Combine for 96 in LA's Win over Atlanta in JBA Action,” Bleacher Report’s headline recapping of Thursday night’s game in LaVar Ball’s fledgling pro league for college-aged players reads. Another option would have been, “LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball Combine for 52 Missed Shots in LA's Win over Atlanta in JBA Action.”
The box score for the game is an absolute trip. The 170–123 final score is enough to make your eyes pop out of your head, but that’s just the start of it.
Let’s begin with Gelo’s line. He played a truly LeBron-like 48 minutes of action and scored 48 points. One point per minute is pretty efficient, right? Oh god, no. He took a staggering 54 shots and made just 19 of them, good for a 35.2 shooting percentage. He was 5-for-24 from three and made just five out of nine free throws.
LaMelo, meanwhile, also scored 48 points but needed just 35 shots to do it, and was a more respectable 7-for-18 from behind the arc.
The good news about all those missed shots, though, is that the Ball brothers’ team was collecting all the offensive rebounds. Los Angeles had a total of 100 rebounds on the night, including 52 on the offensive glass (25 of which came courtesy of Melo and Gelo). For comparison’s sake, no NBA team has more offensive rebounds than defensive rebounds since 2012. The NBA record for team rebounds in a game is 97 by the 1965 Celtics.
And it wasn’t just the Ball brothers putting up wild stat lines. Corey Boyd, a 6'9" forward for the Atlanta team, was 19-for-39 from the field, good for 41 points. Jordan Ray, Nigel Chaney and Isom Butler were a combined 20-for-57.
I don’t know what sport this is but it’s not basketball. And it’s certainly not worth the minimum ticket price of $55 (including fees).
The good news is that LiAngelo might actually be on his way to the Lakers, like he foretold. The last player to take more than 50 shots in an NBA game? Kobe Bryant in the final game of his career.