Many people have been waiting to hear what LaVar Ball will say about his son LiAngelo Ball getting arrested in China, and he didn't disappoint. The boisterous dad supported his son and downplayed President Donald Trump's involvement in getting the young basketball players back home.
"Who?" Ball told ESPN when asked about Trump's involvement in the matter. "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out."
UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested and questioned in China for the past week on suspicion of shoplifting. They allegedly stole sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins were staying before leaving for Shanghai to face Georgia Tech.
Trump, who returned late Tuesday from a trip through Asia, said he raised their case with President Xi Jinping of China during a visit to Beijing last week.
The players were eventually released and landed in Los Angeles on Tuesday evening. Trump tweeted wondering if they would thank him for his help. They later did thank him during a press conference on Wednesday, and on Thursday Trump tweeted that they were welcome and issued a thank you of his own to President Xi Jinping.
All three players have been suspended indefinitely by the team while the incident is under review.
"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. Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' 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. 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.
"Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That's not me. I handle what's going on and then we go from there."