Donald Trump Proves He’s Desperate for Praise With Additional Attacks On LaVar Ball

President Trump started off his Wednesday by once again lashing out at LaVar Ball, father of UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball, who was detained along with two of his teammates in China for a few days earlier this month after being charged with shoplifting. After refusing to thank Trump for his role in his son’s release, a role Ball has said was smaller than the president is making it seem, Trump has attacked Ball on multiple occasions.

“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,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think 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!”

Trump kicked off the feud after apparently learning that Ball had diminished his role in LiAngelo’s release during a Friday interview with ESPN. “Who?” LaVar said when asked about the president. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.” On Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to attack Ball for being “unaccepting,” adding that he “should have left them in jail!”

It’s worth noting that Trump decided to suggest he should have left the players in prison despite having been thanked by them directly during a press conference days prior.


On Monday, Ball once again opted to not thank Trump when asked about the situation on CNN. “How’d he help?” he asked. “If he helped, I would say thank you.”

Ball’s belief that Trump’s role in freeing the three basketball players was smaller than he’s making it seem isn’t unfounded. Last Tuesday, ESPN reporter Arash Markazi responded to a tweet in which Trump claimed the three athletes had been headed for “ten years in jail” by saying he’d been told by “multiple sources involved” that Chinese authorities had only planned on detaining them for 1-2 weeks.

Whether Ball will respond to Trump’s latest attacks remains to be seen. On Monday, he appeared to be ready to move on from the situation, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he was not involved in a feud with the president.

“Why would I be in war with a guy — the most powerful man in the world?” he said. “Did he help the boys get out? I don’t know. If I was going to thank somebody I’d probably thank President Xi.”
Ball concluded the interview by wishing Trump a happy Thanksgiving.

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