CHINO HILLS (CBSLA) — LaVar Ball says he’s used to the haters. But he doesn’t think it’s right that people, including the president, think that his son should be in a jail overseas just because they don’t like him.
“Me and you are having a conversation,” Ball said to CBS2’s Tina Patel. “Me and Trump ain’t having no conversation. I don’t have a conversation with someone over Twitter.”
LaVar Ball doesn’t think he’s in a feud with President Trump. But when we asked him about a tweet that the president sent this weekend calling him ungrateful for helping his son and his teammates out of China after they were caught shoplifting — he says:
“That’s a nice word he call to me, ungrateful. Because I’ve been called other names, guess what it does to me? Nothing.”
Last week, LiAngelo Ball did express his gratitude.
“I’d also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help they provided as well,” LiAngelo said at last week’s press conference. LiAngelo is the younger brother of Lakers rookie and No. 2 overall NBA pick Lonzo Ball. LaMelo Ball is the youngest brother and an up and coming star also.
But in a bizarre interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo that got heated at times, LaVar Ball questioned how much the president actually did.
“I have to know what somebody is doing before I say thank you, I’m just not going to go around saying thank you. If I was going to thank somebody, I’d probably thank president XI,” LaVar said.
What happened in China has put an even brighter spotlight on the Ball family, but LaVar says LiAngelo is handling it.
“He’s had a lot of attention since he was a baby,” LaVar said. “Ain’t nothing new. If I didn’t want all this attention on my boys, I wouldn’t have made them this good.”
He says his son made a mistake and has owned up to it, accepting his indefinite suspension from UCLA’s basketball team.
“It was an impulse thing, a bad decision at the wrong time. In the wrong place is the problem. No, anywhere is the wrong place. The U.S. is the wrong place, but don’t make a big deal about it because it’s China.”
He says he and his family want to move past this, but he’s not willing to just thank the president to do that.
“Why are we even talking about this with all the political matters going on in the world?” Ball said on CNN.
When asked what he’ll do if the president tweets again on the matter:
“I don’t care what he tweets. I don’t sit reading what somebody’s writing all the time, I ain’t got time for that. I got the Big Baller brand to deal with, I got three sons to deal with.”
Ball says he still doesn’t understand why he son stole sunglasses. He says LiAngelo doesn’t even wear shades. But he says he’s told his son to just focus on his game. So whenever he is allowed to play basketball again, he’ll be ready.