LaVar Ball took his feud with Donald Trump to another level on Monday night, as the founder of Big Baller Brand appeared on CNN. The much-anticipated interview came one day after the president tweeted about Ball’s comments regarding Trump’s involvement in getting three UCLA basketball players who were detained in China back to the United States.
Among the three players who were arrested for shoplifting was Ball’s middle son, LiAngelo. Trump tweeted that he wanted the players to thank him for speaking to Chinese president Xi Jinping about their status, and all three obliged upon returning stateside.
LaVar Ball was not as eager to thank Trump, however, as he responded to a question about the leader of the free world’s involvement by saying “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.” In response, Trump tweeted on Sunday morning that the patriarch of the Ball family was “unaccepting of what I did for his son” and that he should have left the players in jail.
During his CNN appearance, Ball approached the situation with his usual sense of bravado. Ball refused to thank Trump for speaking to Jinping, saying that more people than Trump were involved in freeing the trio of players and that he should not demand thanks as a matter of common decency.
“I don’t have to go around saying thank you to everybody.” Ball said. “He didn’t call me, I didn’t shake his hand. He didn’t have to say that. I have to know what somebody’s doing before I say thank you. I’m just not going to go around saying thank you. Now if you come shake my hand and meet me or meet my son or anybody and then say ‘Ok, you know what? Maybe I can help you out.’ Let’s do it that way.
“But just because people say things, supposed to be true, like ‘Hey, I stopped them from, saved them, 10 years,’” Ball continued. “Maybe we was doing some talking to some other people before he even got there. So I’m saying there’s a lot of other matters going around for the president to deal with that’s political. As far as me, let me deal with my son, and let him do what he’s going to do.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo straight up asked Ball whether he thought Trump helped in freeing the trio of players, and Ball bluntly responded that he did not know.
“I don’t know,” Ball said. “You can say what you want. I didn’t see him talk. I don’t care and I don’t know. I wasn’t there, I’m not gonna say nothing I don’t know and I don’t see and I don’t hear.”
Ball also believes that Trump’s tweet about helping was “good for his mind,” before asking “Why he even got to say that? If you helped, you shouldn’t have to say anything. If I help somebody, I don’t walk around saying ‘You know, I helped you now. Come on, now. Give me some love. I helped you.’ Man, come on, for real?”
Ball ended things by having the interview go completely off the rails, especially when he learned that Cuomo’s friends call him “Mo,” offered to send Cuomo Big Baller Brand gear, and told Cuomo to pass along a happy Thanksgiving to Trump “’cause Big Baller is.”
If we have learned anything over the last year or so, it’s that neither Trump nor Ball are ever willing to back down. Once the president sees what Ball had to say tonight, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll send a tweet and keep this feud going.