Donald Trump Lavar Ball

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Donald Trump says he should’ve left UCLA players in jail because LaVar Ball isn’t thankful enough

Lavar Ball downplayed Trump's help.


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Nov 19, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 10:40 am CDT

President Donald Trump tweeted that he expected to be thanked for helping three UCLA basketball players stay out of jail after they were arrested for shoplifting on a team trip to China earlier this month.

But after the outspoken LaVar Ball, whose son LiAngelo was one of the Bruins players to be detained, downplayed Trump’s involvement, the president has a new message. On Sunday afternoon, Trump said he should have left the players in jail.

In case you missed that, the president just tweeted he should have abandoned American citizens imprisoned in a foreign country because one of the players’ fathers refused to thank him.

Ball and his UCLA teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hall admitted to stealing from stores, and they all apologized. During his trip to Asia, Trump asked China President Xi Jinping for help in resolving the case, which could have left the Americans in prison for years. Though all were suspended indefinitely from the team, they were returned to the U.S.

Which led Trump to tweet this.

After they made their gratitude known, Trump returned to Twitter.

But when asked about Trump’s help, LaVar Ball, who has become a controversial basketball figure for his outspokenness on the greatness of his sons and his misogynist remarks, had this to say this weeek.

“Who?” LaVar Ball asked. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out. … As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled.”

Though all three players thanked Trump when they returned to the U.S., the fact LaVar Ball was so public in his disinterest must have really irked the president—apparently enough to make him regret helping in the first place.

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*First Published: Nov 19, 2017, 12:14 pm CST