Trump Is Really Mad Over LaVar Ball's Ungratefulness

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Nov 22, 2017 8:30 AM
Trump Is Really Mad Over LaVar Ball's Ungratefulness

The feud between President Trump and the father of one of the basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting heated up Wednesday morning, with Trump slamming LaVar Ball as a “poor man’s version of Don King” and an “Ungrateful fool!”

"It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think..," the president tweeted.

“...LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”

Ever since Ball’s son, LiAngelo, was released along with two other UCLA players from detention in China for shoplifting, Ball and Trump have traded barbs through the media.

Earlier this week LaVar Ball told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything.”

“Somebody told me about the tweet a couple days ago,” he said during the interview, “why is that on your mind? All this stuff going on, and that’s on your mind, that a father didn’t say thank you? And you’re the head of the U.S.? Come on.”

Ball also said the president should “stay in [his] lane.”

“Let him do his political affairs, and let me handle my son, and let's just stay in our lane,” he added.

Trump had earlier expressed his regret at being so quick to intervene given how ungrateful LaVar has seemed.  

"Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar," Trump tweeted. "Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!"

It was also only after Trump wondered on Twitter last week whether LiAngelo and the other players would thank him that the players spoke out and expressed their gratitude publicly.

Shortly after that message the basketball players held a press conference, with LiAngelo thanking Trump and the U.S. government for their efforts in securing their release. "I’m grateful to be back home,” he said.