Watch: LaMelo Ball Flashes Skill on Lithuanian Pro Debut as LaVar Looks On

Count the Ball brothers’ Lithuanian pro basketball debut as a success. Kind of.

LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball’s experiment in the Baltic state began in earnest on Tuesday night with BC Vytautas against BC Zalgiris-2 in a game sponsored by dad LaVar’s Big Baller Brand.

It was about the furthest cry from the NBA you could imagine, or even UCLA. where LiAngelo was going to play his college basketball before his shoplifting incident in China. Not just because the referee was wearing Big Baller Brand clothing, or because the game took place in front of a sparse crowd (125,000 people watched via live stream, according to Yahoo Sports.

There was a general feeling of incongruity to the whole exercise, which may be exactly what LaVar wants. He has a reality show to promote, after all, and surrealism sells. This stuff will no doubt play well when season two of Ball in the Family comes out.

The other, very real and sincere part of this game, and the ones that will follow, is to get LaMelo and LiAngelo to the NBA. It’s a much more realistic hope for LaMelo, who’s only 16 and more talented than his middle brother and doesn’t have that China shoplifting hoopla around him.

“Many expected LaMelo to be overmatched against pros in Lithuania, and that simply wasn’t the case. He proved he belonged,” Andrew Joseph wrote for USA Today. LaMelo produced some sweet moments, including this no-look pass.

The youngest Ball isn’t lacking for confidence. He shot, and missed, a long three-pointer in his very first possession as a pro.

The confusion with LaVar and the Ball family is what to believe and what to dismiss as hype and what to take with a pinch of truth and another of salt, because there’s just so much hype and hullabaloo that comes out of LaVar’s mouth. LaMelo is clearly talented, and ten points and nine assists on your pro debut at 16 shouldn’t be sniffed at. As Yahoo pointed out, he needs work on defense and he missed all five three-pointers he attempted. But talking about a teenager in these terms shows how good he is. (And it’s what LaVar wants, of course).

LaVar’s weird genius is that there’s no way for him to lose here, really. He already has a kid in the NBA. LiAngelo likely won’t ever be good enough to play there but he can play one of the title characters in a reality show, all the same. LaMelo can toughen himself up by getting an opportunity that no one else his age will ever get. And a potential 125,000 people just googled the Big Baller Brand.