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The elder Ball downplayed Trump’s role in his son’s release in an interview with ESPN.
“Who?” LaVar Ball said. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
Trump’s social media director, Dan Scavino, fired back at Ball on his personal Twitter account Saturday afternoon, saying Ball’s son, LiAngelo, “would be in China for a long, long, long time” without the President’s assistance.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were detained in the Chinese city of Hangzhouwhen they were accused of shoplifting from stores near their hotel and had to turn over their passports as a condition of them posting bail.
The players apologized in a press conference on Wednesday and thanked Trump, who pondered over Twitter if they’d give him credit. LaVar Ball, however, didn’t appear to be interested in patting the president on the back.
“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” Ball told ESPN. “I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing.”