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Lavar Ball, the outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball and two other rising basketball prospects LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball, appeared as a guest on “CNN Tonight” on Nov. 20, interviewed by guest host Chris Cuomo. Unsurprisingly. Lavar Ball used the opportunity to again satisfy his hunger for media attention.
LiAngelo Ball, along with two other players, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — all three who attend UCLA — were arrested last week on suspicion of shoplifting sunglasses from a store while their team was in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. Donald Trump had stated he personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to intervene in the case.
The three young men were then released and allowed to return to the United States. In a press conference on Nov. 16 in Los Angeles, they publicly issued thanks to Trump for his involvement in their release. However, LiAngelo’s father Lavar was not as appreciative for Trump’s help. He told ESPN about Trump in China, “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
On Nov. 19, Trump tweeted “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!”
When Chris Cuomo tried pushing LaVar Ball to thank Trump, Ball replied, “I don’t have to go around saying thank you to everybody.”
“If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything,” Ball added. “Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son and let’s just stay in our lane.”
At another point in the interview, Ball questioned the pronunciation of the host’s name, comparing it to the Google Chrome web browser.
Ball concluded the segment with “Tell Donald Trump to have a great Thanksgiving.”
As for those three players, they have been suspended from the UCLA basketball team indefinitely.
For the full 22-minute interview: