Trump calls LaVar Ball an 'ungrateful fool'

The president still finds the basketball father sufficiently unappreciative of his claim that he secured the player's release from Chinese prison.
Lavar Ball
LaVar Ball said if he were to thank anyone, it would be the president of China. Photo: Getty Images

President Trump continued his Twitter feud with the father of a UCLA basketball player who was arrested in China for shoplifting, calling him an "ungrateful fool."

 

LiAngelo Ball and two teammates were released from jail after Trump's Asia trip last week, and the president took credit. Trump has since questioned the gratitude of Ball's father, LaVar, tweeting that the basketball dad “is unaccepting of what I did for his son” and “very ungrateful!” Trump also said he should have left the trio in jail.

 

On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted: “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."

 

Trump also said that Ball “could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you” without his efforts.

“But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China,” he tweeted.

During an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Tuesday, LaVar Ball said Trump had more important things to do than monitor his gratitude. “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 said. “There’s a lot of other things that’s going on. Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let’s just stay in our lane.”

Ball, who is also the father of the Los Angeles Lakers' Alonzo Ball, intimated that Chinese president Xi Jinping had more to do with his son's release than Trump did. “Did (Trump) help the boys get out? I don’t know," he said. "If I was going to thank somebody, I probably would thank President Xi. He’s in China. He’s the president of China,” Ball said, continuing: “I helped my son get out of China. I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation.”

 
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