Lavar Ball and Donald Trump

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube (CC-BY-SA) Remix by Jason Reed

Trump’s Lavar Ball feud gets dirty as president dubs him an ‘ungrateful fool’

This just hit a new low.


David Covucci


Posted on Nov 22, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 10:23 am CDT

President Donald Trump‘s spat with an American citizen reached a fevered pitch on Wednesday morning, as he took time to call Lavar Ball an ‘ungrateful fool.’

Ball—in case you’ve taken the week off and have ignored this unnecessary imbroglio—is the father of Liangelo Ball, a UCLA basketball player who was arrested with two teammates in China for shoplifting (One of Ball’s other sons, Lonzo, plays for the Los Angeles Lakers).

Trump began the morning before Thanksgiving by taunting Ball, saying if it wasn’t for him, Lavar would have spent his holidays over the next decade visiting his child in jail, while also calling him a poor man’s Don King. He also took a second out to discredit the State Department as well as his own White House.

The fight between the president and the first family of basketball began in earnest over the weekend. During his swing through Asia last week, the president spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene on behalf of the UCLA players, helping secure their release. After they returned to the U.S., Trump kicked off the fight by demanding gratitude for his efforts.

The players thanked Trump in a press conference, saying they “appreciated” him helping out, but Liangelo’s father then said in his own interview that he didn’t want to credit the president for their release.

“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 said. “He’s the president in China. Somebody can make a suggestion and somebody can do something.”

Trump responded by saying he should have left the players in jail.

In a press briefing at the White House after his tweets, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, when pressed, told reporters that the president was simply being rhetorical.

Trump concluded this morning’s string of tweets by retweeting a Twitter user who said he hated Hillary Clinton but had she done something on his behalf he would have “[thanked] her corrupt ass.”

Because it all comes back to her.

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*First Published: Nov 22, 2017, 7:33 am CST