Donald Trump lashes out at LaVar Ball, calling him ‘poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair’

U.S. President Donald Trump has again lashed out at LaVar Ball, the father of UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball who was detained in China for shoplifting, in a series of Wednesday morning tweets.

Trump taunted the outspoken basketball dad, calling him an “ungrateful fool!”

“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,” the president of the United States tweeted. “Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.”

LiAngelo – and his fellow UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley – were detained in Hangzhou on Nov. 7 for questioning over allegations of shoplifting. The players were accused of lifting merchandise from at least three stores, a day before the president was scheduled to visit the country. The men were detained only for a brief period and Trump took credit for their release, saying he had discussed the situation with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a bilateral meeting.

Ball had questioned Trump’s role in the release of his son, speculating the president had little to do with it.

“What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out,” Ball told ESPN.

The players returned to the U.S. on Nov 15, the same day Trump questioned whether the men would thank him.

“Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!” he tweeted.

Trump also blasted Ball on Sunday, saying he should have left his son in jail.

“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal” he wrote on Twitter. “I should have left them in jail!”

Ball fired back during an interview with CNN on Monday, saying he, along with his connections in China, helped get his son freed.

“Did (Trump) help the boys get out? I don’t know. If I was going to thank somebody, I probably would thank President Xi. He’s in China. He’s the president of China,” Ball said, later adding: “I helped my son get out of China. I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation.”

Trump warned Ball Wednesday, saying that he “could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China but no NBA contract to support you.”

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