The inevitable LaVar Ball vs. Donald Trump war of words is here

John Locher | AP | BDN

A day after the father of one of the UCLA basketball players who were detained in China belittled President Donald Trump's role in their release, Trump responded that he "should have left them in jail". "Don't tell me nothing", Ball told ESPN on Friday.

After the players were released, Trump insisted they should thank him - which they did in Wednesday in recalcitrant statements at a team press conference. "Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out", he continued. Trump has been acting like getting the UCLA basketball players out of the shoplifting arrest was like freeing the U.S. hostages from Iran. In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump criticized LaVar Ball for being "unaccepting for what I did for his son".

Earlier Sunday, Trump lashed out at LaVar Ball, whose son, LiAngelo, was among the three players arrested for shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store in China during a team trip earlier this month.

Trump took credit for the release saying he had discussed the basketball players' fate during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping before tweeting a message to the young men on Thursday.

But, Lavar Ball later suggested in an ESPN interview that Trump had little to do with the matter. "Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!" he wrote on Twitter.

Hill, Riley and Ball had been required to stay at their hotel in Hangzhou after being questioned about a shoplifting incident.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said last week that the players stole from three stores.

LaVar Ball told ESPN he was happy to have his son back, and also seemed to downplay his alleged crime.

Fredricka Whitfield spoke with Stelter this afternoon on how "the way this President prioritizes is very confusing to a lot of people". I'm from L.A. 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.

"They will have to earn their way back", Alford said.

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