LiAngelo Ball and two other UCLA basketball players were recently arrested for shoplifting in China. They were later released without charges presumably due to the efforts of President Donald Trump.
LaVar Ball doesn’t believe Trump deserves any credit for his son’s release. The elder Ball made an appearance on CNN, where debated anchor Chris Cuomo on Trump’s role in his son’s release.
“It wasn’t like he was in the U.S. and said, ‘Okay, there’s three kids in China, I need to go over there and get them,’” Ball told Cuomo. “That wasn’t the thought process.”
Trump, who spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the players’ release, was upset with LaVar’s lack of appreciation for his efforts.
Trump called out LaVar on Twitter.
“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,” Trump wrote. “I should have left them in jail!”
LiAngelo Ball was accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store in China. The crime could’ve landed LiAngelo in prison for 10 years.
LiAngelo, Cody Riley, Jalen Hill were accused of stealing sunglasses – priced $435 to $1,990 – from the Louis Vuitton store.
Last week, Lavar told reporters outside the Hyatt Regency in Hangzhou that his son would be fine.
“I’m going to wait until I get some more intel on what’s going on, and then I can tell you what’s up,” he said. “…He’ll be fine. He’ll be fine. Everybody making it a big deal. It ain’t that big of a deal.”
LaVar later released a statement about the allegations against LiAngelo: “It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time. We will comment shortly.”