President Donald Trump continued his war of words against LaVar Ball on Wednesday morning by calling him an “ungrateful fool” and “a poor man’s version of Don King.”
Ball went on CNN to discuss the president’s role in helping release his son, LiAngelo Ball, and two other UCLA basketball players from detention in China over a shoplifting charge. Ball questioned Trump’s involvement in resolving the issue and said that he had nothing to be thankful from the president.
Trump tweeted: “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. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think…..LaVar, you 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!”
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LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested for shoplifting in Hangzhou before a game against Georgia Tech in a tournament. Trump was on his own trip to China and says he discussed the players’ status with Chinese president Xi Jinping. They returned to Los Angeles last week and apologized for their actions in a news conference. All three players and head coach Steve Alford thanked Trump for aiding in their release. They have been suspended indefinitely from the team.
LaVar Ball was asked about Trump’s role in LiAngelo’s release and responded 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.” Trump followed that up by saying he should have left the three players in jail and the Ball to CNN.
A version of this story originally appeared on SI.com.