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LiAngelo Ball Admits He Only Thanked Trump Because UCLA Made Him Do It

by Tod Perry

December 14, 2017

Former UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball caused an international incident that devolved into a national embarrassment in November when he and two teammates were arrested for shoplifting sunglasses in China. Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers’ rookie Lonzo Ball and the son of outspoken stage parent LaVar Ball, spent a night in jail and returned home six days later.

After Ball’s arrest, President Donald Trump barged his way into the story by asking his Twitter followers if the players would thank him after being released. Trump’s need for adulation was completely inappropriate for a public servant and further proof of his malignant narcissism.

Upon their return to Los Angeles, all three players, their coach, and UCLA’s athletic director thanked Trump for his alleged help in arranging the players’ release.

But soon after, LaVar Ball refused to thank Trump, telling ESPN, “Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Then, of course, Trump couldn’t let the perceived snub go, and he unleashed a series of tweets that were 10 feet below the dignity of the presidency. 

On Dec. 13, LiAngelo Ball revealed that he only thanked Trump because UCLA made him do it. “My school wanted to hear it,” LiAngelo told The Breakfast Club. “Before I went up there, it was like, ‘You’ve got to thank him.’ I just threw him in there real quick right before I gave my speech. If they didn’t tell me to do it, it wouldn’t have been in there, to be honest.”

But there may be hope for reconciliation between Trump and the Ball family after all. LaVar told The Breakfast Club that he mailed the president a pair of his family’s Big Baller Brand sneakers. “Gave him three pairs, let him know how we roll,” LaVar said. “Red, white, and blue. Show him we’re patriotic.” 

No word yet if Trump has thanked Ball for the new kicks.

Share image via Frankie Vision/YouTube.

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