All three players, LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, thanked Trump at a press conference in the USA, but Ball's father Lavar, who is famous for being braggadocios, refused to give the president any credit.
Earlier Sunday, Trump said "I should have left them in jail!", referring to the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China for shoplifting, one of whom was lightning rod LaVar Ball's son LiAngelo. "I should have left them in jail!" Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly told the Times the president was instrumental in their release, bringing it up with China's Xi Jinping. "Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out", said LaVar Ball, an outspoken former basketball and football player and the CEO of sports apparel company Big Baller Brand. "Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I'm from LA".
The players apologized and thanked the president for his involvement during a press conference last week.
Trump's bitter remark comes just days after Ball downplayed the president's role in securing the release of his son, LiAngelo Ball, and his son's UCLA teammates, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.
The Republican president, while finishing up a 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia, said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi in the case.
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"Who?" Ball told ESPN on Friday.
"As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine", LaVar Ball added. The university later announced that the players would be suspended indefinitely. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. "Don't tell me nothing".
Which somehow manages to both be accurate - Trump was making it a bigger deal - and totally cavalier about committing crimes in foreign countries - shoplifting in China is different than shoplifting in L.A.! Sunday's tweet from the president of the United States calling out Lavar Ball by name somehow seemed like a foregone conclusion.
"I'm from LA. I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses".