Harrison Gaines Rumors
It was only fitting, perhaps, that an intercontinental escapade exhibiting the awesome power of the present day sports-celebrity-industrial complex began with a late-night direct message on Twitter. At around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 6, Erikas Kirvelaitis, a 21-year-old basketball journalist in Lithuania, sent an unsolicited question via Twitter to Harrison Gaines, a sports agent in Los Angeles with two semifamous teenage clients: Would LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, by any chance, be interested in playing professional basketball in Prienai? Kirvelaitis had been hired only a few months earlier to do part-time communications work for Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas, a small club here in the Lithuanian basketball league. His bosses did not know at first about his Twitter gambit. It was a shot in the dark, anyway.
The Ball brothers have been offered to several clubs in the continent, including teams from the French League and the country’s second division, per BasketEurope. One of those teams is Vichy-Clermont that competes in France’s Pro B (Second Division) league. According to the e-mail sent by their agent, Harrison Gaines, to many overseas clubs, the two players don’t consider money as a “big concern” and they would “ideally like to play for the same club.”. Which makes sense, since this would make the adjustment to their new surroundings much easier.
LaVar Ball told ESPN that LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have signed with agent Harrison Gaines, ending any speculation that LaMelo will play college basketball, and the plan is now for both to play on the same team overseas. “I don’t care about the money,” LaVar said on Thursday morning. “I want them to go somewhere where they will play them together on the court at the same time. The priority is for the boys to play on the same team.”
LaVar said that Gaines, who also represents Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, has been dealing with various overseas clubs about LiAngelo and LaMelo. Sources told ESPN that there have been several teams in Europe and Asia that have expressed interest. “I don’t know the deals and who is offering what,” LaVar said. “I’m letting Harrison handle all that, but I know there are a few teams interested. I just need to get them playing again.”
Harrison Gaines, a 28-year-old Thomas Jefferson law grad, was handpicked by the Ball family to serve as the Ball siblings’ agent. Prior to signing Lonzo, Gaines was not commonly known within the NBA community. But Gaines explained that he has been around the NBA block for some time, and claimed he’s ready for this extraordinary opportunity. Here is an ESPN Q&A introduction to Gaines. Chris Haynes: LaVar is boisterous, and is routinely in the headlines. You’re the exact opposite. It seems like you’re always quietly busy behind the scenes. Is that a fair summation? Harrison Gaines: “My specific role is handling all NBA representation with the Ball family and I stay in my lane as far as that nature. But I think for me, how I view athlete representation, it’s about the player, it’s about the client. And for me, it starts with basketball, everything starts with the game. If you don’t handle your business on the court, then when it comes time to negotiate contracts and everything that’s afforded off of it, that doesn’t apply.
Why do you think LaVar hand-picked you to represent his sons? Harrison Gaines: “Really, I was just myself. It was a genuine relationship. When I met them, I was still in law school. There were no expectations. I enjoyed watching the boys play. I built a great relationship with LaVar and Tina and it just grew from there. They understood the grind that I was putting in and they were putting in the same type of grind on their side and it just all converged at the right time. It was just a blessing. I couldn’t have predicted it to come out like this, but when genuine relationships blossom and everybody is working hard in their respective fields, sometimes there’s synergy and it works out.”