Photo: Mindaugas Kulbis/AP

Who’s ready for the debuts of LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball??? Hopefully not fans of the Baltic League, because Vytautas Prienai announced today that they’d be pulling out of the Baltic Sea region’s second-most prestigious tournament to play in something called the Big Baller Brand Challenge Games, which is a real thing and not a harebrained scheme cooked up by Father Ball.

The Baltic League is less important than the Lithuanian league, and somehow also less important than a round of friendlies against lower-division teams. Here is the very stupid release, in full, presented just as it is on the team website.

Prienai-Birstonas „Vytautas“ basketball club is happy to announce the „Big Baller Brand Challenge Games,“ a new series of five friendly games played between „Vytautas“ and professional clubs from across Lithuania. The „Big Baller Brand Challenge Games“ will mark the „Vytautas“ debuts of LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball and showcase top Lithuanian basketball talent. To increase the global exposure of the series, „Vytautas“ has partnered with Facebook and Ballislife to have the contests broadcast exclusively on Facebook. The games will be available to people in the U.S. on Facebook Watch and globally via the Ballislife HS Basketball Weekly Showcase show Page.

The schedule for a „Big Baller Brand Challenge Games“ friendly games is as follows:

January 9th (20:30 GMT+2): „Vytautas“ vs. Kauno „Žalgiris-2“ – Game Link –


January 15th (20:30 GMT+2): „Vytautas“ – Vilniaus „Lietuvos-rytas-2“

January 17th(21:00 GMT+2): „Vytautas“ – Šakių „Vytis“

January 23th(21:00 GMT+2): „Vytautas“ – Alytaus „Dzūkija“

January 28th(21:00 GMT+2): „Vytautas“ – Jonavos „Jonava“

To bring the „Big Baller Brand Challenge Games“ to life, „Vytautas“ had to make the tough decision to leave the Baltic Basketball League this season. Nevertheless, „Vytautas“ will come back to the BBL next season and fight for the championship title again.

The Ball children could be having fun playing basketball in Los Angeles, but instead they get to play whatever the shit Kauno „Žalgiris-2“ is.