The Donald Trump-LaVar Ball controversy escalated to the next level early Wednesday, as the president fired out two tweets reacting to basketball dad Ball’s zany, million-dollar interview on CNN.
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The president, who took credit from the start for getting LaVar Ball’s son LiAngelo out of trouble in China and asked for thanks, was not pleased with “father LaVar’s” CNN appearance.
Trump said that it wasn’t Ball, the State Department or the White House who saved LiAngelo Ball and two teammates from celebrating the next five to 10 Thanksgivings in China, “IT WAS ME.”
He also called Ball “a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.”
“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..” Trump tweeted, leading into a second tweet.
In the second, Trump criticized Ball for downplaying shoplifting — “It wasn’t a big deal because being raised in South Central LA, I’ve seen harsher things,” Ball said on TV — and exclaimed that he is an “ungrateful fool.”
“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 continued.
Finally, the president retweeted this:
If you didn’t see that wild LaVar Ball interview on CNN, you sure have some catching up to do.
Let’s recap this storyline.
It started with President Trump on Twitter, asking the three UCLA basketball players to thank him for saving them from prison time in China.
The players did thank him in a press conference, but LaVar Ball questioned Trump’s role in it.
“Who? What was [Trump] over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out,” Ball said, according to ESPN.
Trump, again emphasizing the serious of shoplifting, then called Ball “very ungrateful” in a tweet, saying “I should have left them in jail!”
Ball reacted by scheduling a CNN interview with Chris Cuomo that needs to be seen to be believed.