Trump Slams UCLA Basketball Players From Twitter After the Ball's Comments on Trump
President Donald Trump fired back Sunday at the father of one of the UCLA basketball players arrested in China earlier this month, saying entrepreneur LaVar Ball was unappreciative of his efforts and that he should have let LiAngelo Ball and two others remain in Chinese prison.
"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," the president wrote on Twitter. "I should have left them in jail!"
Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were arrested after being accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store near their team hotel in Hangzhou, where the UCLA Bruins were staying before their season-opening game against Georgia Tech. The three freshmen thanked Trump after the president wondered on Twitter if they would show appreciation that he helped them get released from custody and return to the U.S.
After they thanked him, Trump said they should have a "great life" and be careful in the future. In an interview with reporters on his way back from China, Trump said he had told Chinese President President Xi Jinping about the players' situation.
But LaVar Ball, owner of the Big Baller brand, told ESPN on Friday that Trump was not an integral part of getting his son home.
"Who?" LaVar Ball said when asked about Trump's involvement. "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out."
UCLA has suspended the three players indefinitely.