Air Delay
Earlier this year

LaMelo Ball leaves Hawks abruptly, club 'had no idea'

I'm sure you've and we've all seen the news. Melo has left the building.

Apparently on short notice & without informing teammates, the coach or the owner.

What's up with that?

A broken romance or the need for absolute haste to depart? Either way, it leaves a bit of a tarnished taste.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

^Kobe

Reply #789313 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Classy exit

Reply #789314 | Report this post


Isaac  
Earlier this year

American basketball sensation LaMelo Ball has unceremoniously ended his Australian stint, leaving the country without telling his teammates.

His club, the Illawarra Hawks confirmed the 18-year-old guard had taken a flight home and will continue his rehabilitation from a foot injury, which kept him sidelined since November, in the United States.

Club captain Todd Blanchfield said he was shocked by Ball's sudden departure, which he learned about when ABC Illawarra contacted him for comment.
"I'm really disappointed that he didn't say goodbye to his teammates and his coach," Simon Stratford told NewsCorp.

"We had some indication via his minder Jermaine Jackson that he wouldn't stay for the rest of the season."

"We anticipated that he'd leave around February 11, but we never thought he would leave before the Indigenous round this weekend, that is for sure."

Reply #789316 | Report this post


LoveBroker  
Earlier this year

Does a trash organisation like the Hawks deserve social graces like a farewell?

I don't.

In such case, they should be used and discarded without second thought.

Reply #789320 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

ok boomer

Reply #789322 | Report this post


Perthworld  
Earlier this year

But he donated to the bushfire appeal.

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Camel 31  
Earlier this year

I remember Joey saying, a month or so ago.. 'If he was my boy, he wouldn't be here, he'd be back home'

Reply #789325 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Hardly a surprise his entourage left without letting team-mates know, supposedly hasn't been at training since the injury.

But at least the NBL and Hawks got heaps of likes on social media for 6 months.

Reply #789331 | Report this post


ME  
Earlier this year

It's a bit of a classless move. For all the talk of how close he allegedly was with his teammates, he ups and goes without so much as a word to them. As much as I've enjoyed watching LaMelo play and can see the many positives that came to the league because of it, it appears to have been the ultimate using-session on LaMelo's part.

Reply #789332 | Report this post


Curtley  
Earlier this year

The Ghost of All Time.

Reply #789333 | Report this post


Bobby  
Earlier this year

LaMelo never cared about his teammates. He only came to Australia due to LaVar. Doubt LaMelo even liked Australia. Life here simply isn't extravagant, lavish, and materialistic as LA.

Reply #789334 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Pretty quiet day for all the Lamelo lovers. Tacky and really says something about the guys character.

Reply #789337 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Shit bloke because he didn't say goodbye to players infinitely beneath him haha

Reply #789338 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Melo seemed like a good kid being pushed and pulled by controlling advisors.

Reply #789339 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

The Jackson 5 bloke lol

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LoveBroker  
Earlier this year

it appears to have been the ultimate using-session on LaMelo's part.


Who used who?

I would suggest it's the Hawks using and needing LaMelo more than the other way around.

People may tend to lean towards the Hawks as being used because of the perception they came out of the season with so little benefit.

They could have used this season to boost the team but they ended up with the same situation :
- Trash ownership / General Manager.
- Trash finances.
- Trash membership and attendance.
- Trash players.

If I was LaMelo I would say being in the NBL is a positive experience, but not the Hawks.

Furthermore, people are happy to pat him on the back for a substantial donation to the Fire Appeal but get the knives out when he leaves.

Reply #789341 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

They used each other. Hawks could've found a way to support him with a great playing group, they could’ve replaced Aaron brooks immediately and made a run at finals. He’d still be here IF he felt he could win a title etc that would look great on his resume. When the hawks gave up off the court, Lamelo gave up on the court. Leaving without a goodbye is trash though.

Reply #789342 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

What a wanker. I sure he knows what that means by now.
Let's see if he's the #1 draft pick too.

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"...didnt say goodbye to players infinitely beneath him haha"

So true. You shouldn't only ever fraternise with players above you!

Reply #789345 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

To many people who have never done anything shiting on the young bloke. Who knows what happened, maybe required urgently back in the states due to shoe deal, medical testing etc..The kid was nothing but a true good person the whole time he was here. Team captain Blanchfield didn't get told, jeee poor Tod.

Get a life people.

Reply #789349 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

The above anon is kidding himself. Im sure you had a great interaction with him at some stage, but that doesn't mean you should be defending him blindly. Scouts look at character traits.

Reply #789368 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I know another player that walked out on his state league club without telling anyone to join an NBL team. Shit bloke that gets "overlooked" for the national team all the time.

Reply #789371 | Report this post


Air Delay  
Earlier this year

As a loyal Hawkhead & being lucky enough to be around the action, I DO see both sides.

Melo's interaction with kids & the community was top notch! Never shirked a photo request at the Snakepit & certainly played too his strength when playing.

Hawkies wise, there wasn't much combined media of anything outside of training or games... AND DEFINITELY not replacing Brooks with a talented replacement ASAP tarnished the brush.

I'd like to reserve judgement on the hasty departure until we know all the facts, but there's certainly a little bit of distaste about leaving without farewelling teammates, staff or the owner.

My last hovering question is in regard to the details of a next star contract. The contract was/is with the NBL right? So the club may not even know all the behind the scenes details?

But gee, some sort of formal "goodbye" really should have happened...

Reply #789376 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Piss weak. 18yo kid showing no RESPECT for where he was and his team mates, owner and the fans.

Reply #789407 | Report this post


Btown  
Earlier this year

Well he allegedly learnt a lot from the Hawks organisation, shame he couldn't muster a thankyou and goodbye.

Shows poor character imo, won't have any impact at all on where he is drafted so probably just doesn't give a shit, and probably never did.

Reply #789411 | Report this post


Isaac  
Earlier this year

due to shoe deal
I LOLed. "Hey Todd - Got an urgent shoe deal going on. No time to meet up but can you say thanks and bye to the team for me." Surely that's the bare minimum, whether you ever need to think about your NBL experience again once you make the NBA. Easy decency.

But who knows, maybe this is just to spend time with family and he'll be back for Mad Monday.

Reply #789415 | Report this post


robt  
Earlier this year

Well said, Air Delay.

Reply #789421 | Report this post


LV  
Earlier this year

The kid's 18. Probably doing what Lavar told him.

But, you'd think Lavar would have realised this reflects badly on his character. The scouts read the news. This is a bad look.

Reply #789422 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

So you think the scouts are not going to pick him because he didn't say goodbye, lmao. The scouts got exactly what they wanted in the 12 games he played, most of them probably never go back ti Illawarra again.

Reply #789423 | Report this post


A A Ron  
Earlier this year

How hard would it have been to drop in at practice and say goodbye to teammates, looks very selfish, forget the "who used who" arguments they're about the club, the guys were his teammates.

Something so small won't stop him from being drafted, but it may be a tiebreaker for a franchise tossing up between players, and if it makes him say the number 4 pick instead of number 2 as an example, well that just cost him $4 million on his rookie contract.

Reply #789424 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Earlier this year

I'm not going to defend going back home without saying goodbye but he's an 18 yo kid don't you guys think he might've been pretty nervous about walking into a gym full of grown men and saying "Yeah see ya I'm outta here lot's of luck"?

Someone a veteran player, a coach, GM or owner no doubt would've had a go at him and given him a dressing down in front of everyone which would be quite humiliating for an 18 yo kid.

I dare say this would've been his father's idea or his minder they would've known what would happen and the kid is just following their orders.

Reply #789426 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Ofcourse it won't effect things, but if it shows a red flag of his true character, basketball communities are very fickle, and later, perhaps much later it could come back to bite. Even in a comparison type way. Its just flat out rude regardless and shows he is fake.

Reply #789427 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

This was predicted before he even played a game. Anyone who is surprised or disappointed or stupid .

Reply #789441 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Who predicted he would leave the club without saying goodbye?

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Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Just shows how much people respect our joke of a league

Reply #789452 | Report this post


sixtiesrockstar  
Earlier this year

This is a modern day thing today. Today they leave with no goodbyes and then post via social media. Has happened a bit in AFL and NRL in recent years. Sign a contract for however long and then 2 months later asking for a transfer.

Reply #789453 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Harry Froling did the same thing. Was around a little last year, then no one has seen him since. No goodbye, no nothing.

Reply #789454 | Report this post


CT  
Earlier this year

I'm fairly sure half the 36ers set off to find Froling mid-season too..

Reply #789459 | Report this post


Andrew  
Earlier this year

Hey clubs ditch players all the time, about time a player did it back.

Reply #789466 | Report this post


Ben  
Earlier this year

Well it's true that the Hawks have no idea :)

Reply #789490 | Report this post


WookieE  
Earlier this year

Who predicted he would leave the club without saying goodbye?

Plenty were suggesting that he'd cut out early, as soon as it suited him/when it was clear the Hawks weren't making playoffs... Leaving without giving word isn't a big leap...

It's really poor form to leave without telling anyone... I was surprised when I heard that he was sticking around once it was known to be a "season ending" injury, most imports go home if they get one of those in most circumstances, I don't think anyone would have held that against him, especially with having to prepare for the NBA Draft... Most would have been "thanks for your time, good luck" if he'd left on the proper terms and in the right way... There's a good character way to do things, and then there's a douchebag character way to do things, and by this stage, you can't teach that, a person either has it or they haven't...

Agree that it won't stop him being drafted by any means, but any employer looks at the type of person you are, and if you're not the next coming of basketball Jesus that can excuse any personal faults, then you have to at least fake being a nice person better...

Reply #789532 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

what r the rules of the Next star
when Ball got hurt could they replace him with another next stars player. Terry Armstrong stay for a second year with the phoenix

Reply #789533 | Report this post


FM  
Earlier this year

He has a team full of washed up or hopefuls, I'm thinking he wasn’t close with any of them.

Reply #789538 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"He has a team full of washed up or hopefuls, I'm thinking he wasn't close with any of them."

If you judge someone's personal value by their talent levels or career prospects then that actually makes you a bigger dickhead.

Reply #789539 | Report this post


Perthworld's big brother  
Earlier this year

Seeya Ball you will end up on another crappy team if you're drafted top 3.

Reply #789545 | Report this post


AussiePride  
Earlier this year

Commenting here sounds like a bunch of school girl bullies. Oh how terrible, He didn't say goodbye. Who cares if he did or didn't? Are you 1o years old?

From what I can see he did far more than he needed to including sitting on the bench at each game while injured. If I was advising him he would have been back in the states 2 months ago.

Reply #789555 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"If I was advising him he would have been back in the states 2 months ago."

Would you have advised him to tell the club he was leaving the country?

Reply #789556 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Regardless of what anyone thinks of the Hawks - for the record, I think they're a terrible organisation - this is poor on Ball’s part. There are many ways he could have done it better.

In the time he was here, I think he did really well to show the Ball circus had died and he was a professional. And then at the last moment, he’s killed that. He has shown that while the Ball’s May be quieter than before their unprofessionalism hasn’t gone away. I would not be surprised if Ball’s stock takes a hit with certain teams (some teams will still take him for the hype and potential, and probably see their fortunes slide over time).

Reply #789562 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

He should have left months ago. Who was paying everything for him during that time? Still getting injury payments? Discgraceful.

Reply #789564 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

So tickets were spiked 3-4x for this season because of Ball....
Myself along w numerous friends have been season ticket holders, some up to 15 years.
A fair few of us down graded packages and so have given up on season tickets.

Way to burn your loyal fans.

Next season I assume prices drop back down? Too late.

Reply #789567 | Report this post


LoveBroker  
Earlier this year

NBA teams are not going to care that he hurt the feelings of some Illawarra fans.

Come on.

Do you guys think Jim Dolan, Scott Perry and Steve Mills are going to consider Ball's exit when considering their options?

These guys are hungry for talent to draw even more crowds more buzz to MSG.

As will many other GMs to their teams.

Reply #789570 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"Who was paying everything for him during that time? Still getting injury payments?"

Insurance?

Reply #789571 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

AussiePride, did you also advise him not to attend training sessions since the injury occurred?

I don't question Lamelo, as much as I do his handlers. He's just a kid being advised and-or played by people out for his dollars.

Radio announcement today said he left early because he was close with "The Bryant family", if this was the genuine reason, at least let your teammates know. This excuse would have been spoon fed from their little group blind followers on the ground here to the radio station.

Reply #789573 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

LoveBroker. Many teams value a thing called culture too.

If the talent is comparable, successful teams will make a player selection on what fits within their culture best. Using Knicks is a bad example as theirs is horrible.

Like the All Blacks "no dick head" policy.

Reply #789575 | Report this post


Camel 31  
Earlier this year

18 year old. 100 million dollar shoe deal doing a damocles. Raced off..

Reply #789577 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

The Kobe death is probably very feasible. He was going mid February anyway. Every thing the hawks have said about him is positive. To many negative Nan's, get a life, kids 18 years old for f..ks sake.

Reply #789578 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Please dont ever quote homicides 100m shoe deal again.
Complete fluff

Reply #789582 | Report this post


D2.0  
Earlier this year

Firstly, I don't buy the "club had no idea" line. I call BS.

Going without making an effort to say goodbye to your teammates sounds pretty poor, but we'll never know the full story.

Hawks management & ownership seem like a pack of clowns, so maybe relations had already soured once he announced his intentions.

And I don't know, was their a relationship there with Bryant. I imagine that for a lot of young basketball fans this has been hard to take. If he had a relationship, then even harder.

Reply #789592 | Report this post


Makia  
Earlier this year

An interesting side story to this is that the Illawarra Mercury has been dropping hints that one (or more?) members of Ball family may potentially be involved in a new future ownership group at the Hawks. It seems a strange way to depart if this were to be the case.

Reply #789595 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Lamelo posted a photo a couple of hours ago expressing gratitude towards the Illawarra Hawks team and organisation. Albeit still a bad look for him, not saying goodbye in person.

Reply #789624 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

""Who was paying everything for him during that time? Still getting injury payments?" Insurance?
Do you realise how much that insurance costs? Guess not.

Reply #789627 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I sure do. I suggested some time ago he would be on workers comp. Everyone said 'no he's insured by the club". Either way who paid for his extended stay?
The way he left makes a mockery of letting him stay "with his team"

Reply #789635 | Report this post


MACDUB  
Earlier this year

Why are people so critical of the Hawks organisation?

I probably don't know the full picture but people seem quick to pin stuff on the Hawks that isn't necessarily their fault/within their full control.

Granted if they were getting 15k to their games/had mass interest/commercial success and still had that budget roster, you'd rightfully raise disapproval. But they're not. The environment they're in isn't their own doing, is it?

Reply #789653 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Didn't they have five Monday night home games at the start of the season?

Reply #789661 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

""Who was paying everything for him during that time? Still getting injury payments?" Insurance?
Do you realise how much that insurance costs? Guess not.

Do I know how much income protection insurance costs? Yes.

Reply #789662 | Report this post


Reality  
Earlier this year

Was Ball insured....??

Reply #789669 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

He was supposed to be on $100k or so. Do you really need income protection?

Reply #789674 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

The club does, yes. It allows them to pay the injured player while also paying a replacement.

While the Hawks didn't replace him, it means the idiot who keeps suggesting it was bad management to keep paying him doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.

Reply #789675 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Why does the club need insurance for Ball? Next Stars are meant to be paid by the NBL not the clubs

Reply #789676 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Next stars get paid their extra money by the NBL. Not their base salary.

Reply #789678 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Next stars get paid their extra money by the NBL. Not their base salary.

Reply #789680 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Whoever took out the insurance, it means the Hawks weren't out of pocket while he stuck around.

Reply #789682 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I hope he blows out his ACL before the draft even arrives for karma for faking an injury in order to get out of a commitment he made.

Reply #789686 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Ball told LK (but not the Hawks) that he would be flying back early to the US. LK met ball on his yacht, thanked him for his service to the NBL and paid for his plane trip home

Reply #789687 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

LK is measuring Ball's "success" on the fact Barack Obama is following the hawks on twitter. I've never heard anything so ludicrous.

Reply #789688 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Hope he does an ACL. He fucking deserves it. What a dirtbag Lavar and Tina have raised.

Reply #789691 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

"Hope he does an ACL. He fucking deserves it. What a dirtbag Lavar and Tina have raised."

What are your parents names? I have my own opinions about them.

Reply #789692 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

It is the lunch on NBL owner Larry Kestelman's holiday boat in Sydney Harbour that secured LaMelo Ball’s ticket home to the US before the Illawarra Hawks knew that the rising star was leaving.



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Kestelman met with Ball in the Harbour City earlier this week to thank him for his service to the league and wish him all the best for June’s NBA draft.

He gifted the potential top three draft pick with his plane ride home.

Ball informed Kestelman of his decision to return to the US a few days before their boat meeting, but he failed to inform members of the Illawarra franchise that he was departing on Wednesday.

This angered Hawks owner Simon Stratford while captain Todd Blanchfield said he was shocked by Ball's sudden departure, which he learned about when ABC Illawarra contacted him for comment after reading News Corp Australia’s exclusive story.

"It's news to me, but (Ball's camp has) got an agenda they have to take care of," Blanchfield said.

Kestelman believes Ball’s brief NBL stint was a resounding success and he wanted to pass on his gratitude to the future NBA star.

“I think that is a ridiculous statement (to say that Ball’s stint was a failure),” Kestelman said.

“LaMelo was never meant to be the saviour of the Hawks on the court.

LaMelo Ball met with NBL owner Larry Kestelman before heading home.
LaMelo Ball met with NBL owner Larry Kestelman before heading home.
“He is an 18-year-old kid that came here to improve his game and contribute as much as he can.

“I don’t think he was here as someone that they should have hung their hat on.

“The fact that he turned out to be as good as he was to me is a bonus.

“LaMelo was a huge success. When Barack Obama starts following the Illawarra Hawks through social media, I think he has done his job.

“There were more searches for Illawarra online than in the franchise’s history.

“LaMelo single-handedly put the Hawks on the map, so I think it is a little harsh to suggest his stint was a failure.

“He delivered great exposure for us and great attention globally, so it was a beautiful partnership.

“We certainly wish he would have played a few more games, but that is sport and he got injured.

“I totally understand why he didn’t play in the last few games. If I was his management I would have done the same thing.”

Reply #789727 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

You can't get income protection for professional sports

The team pays the player whether they are fit or not

Lamelo had lunch with LK but didn’t tell the Hawks , yeah nah.

Reply #789738 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

I thought Larry's comments wete surely taken out of context. Wow

Reply #789751 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Remember the NBL was paying for LaMelo, not Illawarra.

He said goodbye to LK, which was nice.

And before Illawarra organisation tries to criticise LaMelo, how about they pay their superannuation obligations

Reply #789903 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

So you only say goodbye to people paying you, not your teammates and coach? That makes zero sense.

Reply #789909 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

Maybe he said goodbye to some teammates he was closer to. As for Stratford, I wouldn't really trust a guy that doesn't pay his superannuation or debts owed to the league

Reply #789915 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Earlier this year

What's that got to do with this situation?

Reply #789964 | Report this post


proud  
Earlier this year

I wanted LaMelo to come here and give us buzz and fall in love with Illawarra to the point that in the future he buys the team... with a departure like that I'm not as confident about that and hope to be proven wrong but hopefully he can still invest in the Gong and tell his future team mates about the positives that Australia and the NBL have and why wouldn't he?

Reply #790090 | Report this post




 

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