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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before leaving the White House, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, in Washington for a Thanksgiving trip to Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Trump called 'ungrateful fool' LaVar Ball a 'poor man's version of Don King'



President Trump on Wednesday blasted the father of a U.S. college basketball player for failing to recognize his role in securing the student’s release from China.

“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME,” Trump tweeted of LaVar Ball and his son, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) freshmen LiAngelo Ball.

“Too bad!” Trump added before unfavorably comparing LaVar Ball to boxing promoter Don King. “LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.”

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“Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you.”

Trump also knocked LaVar Ball for seemingly downplaying LiAngelo Ball’s arrest in China for allegedly shoplifting there.

“But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing,” Trump wrote. “It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”

LaVar Ball on Monday said he would likely thank Chinese President Xi Jinping before Trump for helping free his son and two other UCLA players from the Asian nation earlier this month.

“If I was going to thank somebody, I’d probably thank President Xi,” he said on CNN. “He’s the president of China.”

“If you help, you shouldn’t have to say anything,” LaVar Ball added of Trump. “Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son, and let’s just stay in our lane.”

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LiAngelo Ball, Codey Riley and Jalen Hill thanked Trump during a news conference last week one day after returning to the U.S. following their detention in China.

The trio were arrested and questioned earlier this month about stealing from high-end stores next to their team’s hotel in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou during a stop there.

Trump, who concluded a trip through Asia earlier this month, discussed the issue with Xi while visiting Beijing before his journey ended.

The group’s detention made global headlines due to the fact that LiAngelo Ball’s brother, Lonzo Ball, is a National Basketball Association (NBA) star.

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