Trump blasts LaVar Ball, after his sons are freed from China
Sheetal Sukhija - Monday 20th November, 2017
LaVar Ball played down Trump’s involvement in getting his sons safely out of China
The President fired back on Twitter and said he should have left the basketball players in jail
LaVar Ball cast doubt on how much Trump had been involved in freeing LiAngelo
WASHINGTON, U.S. - After LaVar Ball, the father of the basketball players LiAngelo and Lonzo Ball, played down President Donald Trump’s role in getting LiAngelo safely out of China, Trump fired back on Twitter.
LiAngelo, a freshman at U.C.L.A, and two of his teammates were arrested during a team trip to China earlier this month.
LiAngelo Ball and his teammates, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting while in China with their teammates.
When Trump was in the middle of a tour of Asia, he reportedly raised the case with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and subsequently, the three players were allowed to return to the United States.
Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, explained the episode to the media.
Kelly said, “Our president said to Xi, ‘Do you know anything about these knuckleheads that got caught allegedly stealing?’”
Adding that the Chinese president was unaware of the episode and immediately dispatched an aide to get more information.
Kelly added, “The president was saying, ‘It’s not too serious. We’d love to see this taken care of in an expeditious way.’ I bet they learned a lesson in their lives.”
Then, Trump made it clear on Twitter that he expected the players to thank him for his involvement.
While the President claimed that the three basketball players were facing 10 years in jail, many legal experts pointed out that it was unlikely the charges would have been that serious.
Once the players reached home, U.C.L.A. held a news conference to discuss the incident, and all three players thanked Trump.
It was further announced that all three had been suspended indefinitely from the U.C.L.A. basketball team.
Trump again took to Twitter and acknowledged their gratitude, delivering more advice.
In a two-part tweet, he said, “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!”
Then, in an interview with ESPN, LaVar Ball, the father of the basketball players cast doubt on how much Trump had been involved in freeing the players.
When asked about Trump’s involvement, Lavar Ball said, “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
Ball, who has previously claimed that he could have beaten Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one back in college amongst many other controversial claims, suggested during the interview, that he did not believe his son’s criminal trouble in China was a serious situation.
He said, “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.’ I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses.”
Responding back quickly, Trump thrashed Ball and said 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. I should have left them in jail!”
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