President Donald Trump continued his Twitter roasting of UCLA basketball dad and Big Baller Brand mogul LaVar Ball on Sunday evening, calling him “very ungrateful” for not thanking him for getting his son out of trouble.
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“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!” Trump tweeted.
Earlier Sunday, Trump said “I should have left them in jail!,” referring to the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting, one of whom was lightning rod LaVar Ball’s son LiAngelo.
“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!” Trump tweeted.
This was Trump’s response to Ball essentially saying “Trump who?” when asked on Saturday about the president’s role in getting LiAngelo out of trouble.
This all started, you may recall, when Trump tweeted after returning from Asia that the three UCLA basketball players who got in trouble for shoplifting in China should thank him for saving them from a decade in prison.
“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” he tweeted last Wednesday morning.
The players, for their part, did exactly that at an afternoon press conference the same day.
“To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You’re welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!” Trump said in reply.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were returned to the United States after being arrested on charges of shoplifting, in connection with the alleged theft of Louis Vuitton sunglasses in Shanghai. The university later announced that the players would be suspended indefinitely.
Previously, we speculated that it was possible Trump wanted to hear a “thank you” not just from the basketball players, but also from the unapologetic LaVar Ball himself.
The president did not end up getting that thank you from LaVar Ball.
“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.
“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes,’” Ball added, downplaying his son’s mistake. “I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him.”