LaMelo Ball has seemingly spent half his life in front of the TV cameras. He’s prepared to do it again as he heads for the NBA.
The 18-year old Ball’s representatives are shopping around an HBO “24/7”-like documentary series about his road to the 2020 NBA Draft, sources tell Front Office Sports.
The 6’7,” 190-pound point guard is expected to be one of the top picks on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The proposed documentary about the youngest son of LaVar and Tina Ball is drawing definite interest from sports TV networks and media outfits.
“LaMelo is as hot as anybody coming into the (NBA) Draft this year. He could generate as many eyeballs as (No. 1 overall pick) Zion Williamson did last year,” said one source.
The price for the documentary is said to be in the $2 million range, said sources. That could scare off some suitors.
“They’re shopping it around – but the price is very, very expensive. Unless it comes down, we’ll pass,” he said.
LaMelo Ball and his manager Jermaine Jackson could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for LaVar Ball also could not be reached for comment.
The budding basketball superstar has plenty of experience in front of the cameras.
Along with his parent and older brothers Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans and LiAngelo Ball, he’s co-starred in Facebook Live’s, “Ball in the Family.”
Bunim/Murray, the production house behind E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and MTV’s “The Real World,” creates the weekly docu-series about the Ball clan.
The series is now in its fifth season, with over 104 episodes in the can. It boasts over 2 million followers and 1 million likes on Facebook.
Premiering on Aug. 29. 2017, the series turned out to be a big hit for Facebook. Over its first three seasons, more than 13 million people watched at least one minute of the show. It averages 1.14 million views per episode, as measured by Conviva.
“Ball in the Family” also appeals beyond hoops fans. Out of the viewers who have completed one full episode, 62% don’t follow the page of the NBA or an NBA team, according to Facebook.
NBA television partners like ESPN, Turner Sports’ TNT and the league’s own NBA TV could be potential bidders for the series. Digital outfits looking for sports video content such as Facebook, Bleacher Report and Overtime could also be interested. All those companies declined to comment for this story.
In 2018, he played for BC Vytautas in the small Lithuanian town of Prienai. Then in 2019, he traveled Down Under to play for the Illawarra Hawks in Wollongong, New South Wales.
The youngest Ball brother is taking a unique route to the NBA. After starring at Chino Hills High School, the teenager eschewed the traditional college basketball route, playing pro hoops against grown men in Lithuania and Australia.
NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said LaMelo Ball matured during his time in Australia.
“Melo always came across as a humble and likable young man dedicated to becoming the very best basketballer he can be. In his time in the NBL he impressed everyone with his abundant talent and his work ethic both on and off the court,” he said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “His coach at the Illawarra Hawks Matt Flinn often spoke about how much he enjoyed coaching him and I think we all took a lot from watching his development as a player over the course of the season.”
Featuring a series on LaMelo Ball would potentially bring in his growing social media audience. He has over 6.4 million cross-platform followers, including 5.2 million on Instagram, 630,00 on Facebook and 588,300 on Twitter, according to Conviva.
On Instagram, he averaged 612,000 engagements per post over the past three months, according to the Conviva Social Insights Leaderboard, and 51,800 new followers per month. In comparison, the Los Angeles Lakers, who drive the highest engagements per post in the NBA, are averaging 92,000 engagements per post over the last 30 days.