Former JBA player claims LaVar Ball's league cut off contact after reneging on promised checks

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor
LaVar Ball’s league has hit some speed bumps since its inception, but, hey, at least it’s given LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball a place to play. (AP Photo)

If LaVar Ball really wants his Junior Basketball Association to challenge the current player development system, its paychecks are going to need to come on time.

That doesn’t appear to be the case according to at least one account, as former JBA player Brandon Phillips claimed the league only paid him a third of what it promised him, per Cycle sportswriter Thomas Duffy.

Phillips discussed the case in the replies of Duffy’s tweet, saying that he can provide screenshots of messages from other players that can back up his account.

Players were told that low-end salaries in the JBA would come in around $3,000, which seems to be what Phillips was told he would be paid. Phillips gave up his college eligibility to play for the Los Angeles Ballers, but was let after four games when LiAngelo Ball joined the Ballers and proceeded to make a mockery of the league. Phillips had scored 11 points total and hauled in six rebounds at the time according to the league’s site.

News of Ball creating a league to compete with the NCAA for the nation’s young talent was met with a combination of skepticism and laughter, but stories like Phillips’, if true, show the darker side of a league that seems designed primarily for the benefit of its founder’s children. It’s hard to know if Phillips had any chance to play in college, but shredding his eligibility for $1,000 is a bad deal if he had even one scholarship offer.

It has shocked no one that the JBA’s attendance has been sparse at best, just look at the crowd in the background of one of its games. The league still charges up the nose for tickets, per USA Today, for a level of competition that is supremely lacking compared to college ball and its Big Baller Brand merchandise is infamously overpriced.

Add in the possibility that the league isn’t paying its players what they were promised and you have another blow to its legitimacy over just $2,000, leaving a very fair question of how long it can survive.

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