NBA Confidential: LeBron James calls Ben Simmons ‘young King’, LaMelo, LiAngelo Ball in talks with Lithuanian team

THE King hasn’t quite abdicated his throne yet, but LeBron James looks to have anointed his successor.

Plus after LaVar pulled them away from UCLA, LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball are close to a strange basketball move. That and more in NBA Confidential!

SIMMONS CROWNED

The King isn’t dead. But long live the King.

LeBron James and Ben Simmons are close — and not just when you compare the pair on court. During Simmons’ journey to the NBA the two guns have become good friends.

Simmons being represented by Klutch Sports, which is run by LeBron’s childhood friend Rich Paul and also represents LeBron doesn’t hurt either.

But after the second NBA meeting between the pair LeBron gave Simmons some ridiculously high praise on Instagram.

“Keep going! Accept nothing less than being great! Anything else is not warranted,” LeBron wrote in his caption, then adding a very generous hashtag — ‘young King’.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

THE DECISION 2.0

“We’re taking our talents to Prienai.”

It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as LeBron’s Decision, but the two youngest Ball brothers LaMelo and LiAngelo are reportedly in serious discussions on their new basketball home.

LaVar Ball wants the pair to play together overseas, and according to ESPN reporters Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony, they’ve made their call.

And it’s apparently to move to a town of less than 10,000 people in Lithuania.

Prienu Vytautas plays in the Lithuanian (LKL) league. It’s a country with a very good basketball heritage, so on the surface it seems like a move to a team at a reasonably high standard.

But the Balls would be unlikely to actually play for the team. Instead they would feature for the club’s lower-level Baltic League side.

And it gets even better, because according to someone who used to play under the team’s coach, pro basketball player Billy Baron, the coach doesn’t speak English and didn’t want to play Baron much because he couldn’t talk to him.

Well, as long as LaVar can still do his crosses to talk to CNN, it’ll be fine.

tfw you’re moving from UCLA to a non-English speaking town in Lithuania
tfw you’re moving from UCLA to a non-English speaking town in LithuaniaSource: AP

WELL, HE’S RIGHT

While injured, Gordon Hayward is doing what this writer would be doing if he was rich with time on his hands — playing video games all day (well, the writer does that anyway).

Over the weekend Hayward was streaming Hearthstone, a digital card game, on Twitch — a video service devoted to games which also allows the streamer to interact with viewers via a live chat.

One such viewer asked Hayward about Kyrie Irving’s entirely wrong belief that the Earth is flat. Would Hayward defend his teammate?

“I’m pretty sure Kyrie’s wrong,” he said.

So, no. Good.

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