Entertainment

A Lithuanian “Ball In the Family” Is a TV Show We Can All Get Behind

The Balls' Latest Move Could Be Their Ticket to Nonscripted Glory

By Thompson Brandes ·
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LaVar, LaMelo, and LiAngelo Ball—three perennial all-stars of Facebook Watch’s Ball In the Family—officially arrived in Lithuania yesterday ahead of their Prienu Vytautas debut next week. If the airport welcoming party is any indicator, both the Lithuanian franchise and traditional folk music scene are juiced for the family’s next chapter:

Welcome to Lithuania, indeed.

The song is informative enough, boasting a hook not too different from what Rick Pitino might have performed for a group of arriving Louisville freshmen. In a vacuum, it’s good fun. But look to the bigger picture, and you might just witness the makings of something a little more magical from a family hungry for fame. The Balls have come to the promised land. And the unique idiosyncrasies of Lithuanian culture may just be Ball In the Family’s newfound rocket fuel to success.

As a person with one single Ball on his pop culture radar—that Ball being Lonzo, the actual NBA player—I’m buying in. LaVar's not my favored brand of entertainment. His behavior can feel too cruel and manipulative at times. But take that same LaVar and sit him next to a local LKL TV announcer performing his spectacular rendition of Welcome to Lithuania?

I’m watching every single time.

Nobody wants to watch LaVar strut around another Laker game. We want to watch him have a panic attack in a hot air balloon over Vilnius while LaMelo maintains a stoic expression. We want to watch him deliver a fantastical sermon to a mass of nine at St. Anne’s Church. We want to watch a brash, confident man and his family be removed from their comfort zone because the ensuing chaos is always just a little more fun, right? Right.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Balls have found their court.

Thompson Brandes is getting sucked into another Jurassic Park movie on AMC right now.

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