The inevitable LaVar Ball vs. Donald Trump war of words is here

Allan Goodman
November 20, 2017

But Ball's father LaVar Ball, a brash media personality known for outspoken advocacy of his three basketball playing sons, minimised the president's role in an interview Friday with sports network ESPN.

President Donald Trump responded on Sunday to LaVar Ball, the father of one of the UCLA basketball players released from China after being accused of shoplifting, who recently questioned the president's role in securing the player's safe return to the U.S. They went to jail, but were released on bail, which is something that apparently indicated the Chinese authorities were taking a rather chill approach to all of this to begin with.

The UCLA trio of LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were briefly detained for stealing from a Louis Vuitton store in the city of Hangzhou earlier this month in what became a minor diplomatic incident.

Trump, who returned late Tuesday from a trip through Asia, raised the players' case with President Xi Jinping of China during a visit to Beijing last week.

However, all three players thanked the president after flying back home. "Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!" he wrote on Twitter.

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'As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine, ' LaVar Ball told ESPN.

Ball's comments, while not particularly gracious given the circumstances, once again proved no slight is too small to pierce the president's thin candy shell. Trump said in a tweet.

Donald Trump just wants LaVar Ball's appreciation.

The players were arrested and questioned on November 7 about stealing from high-end stores, including sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins had been staying before leaving for Shanghai to face Georgia Tech.

They in fact did thank him during a press conference on Wednesday, totally of their own volition, I'm sure.

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