LaVar Ball, the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players caught shoplifting in China, said Monday he would have thanked President Trump for interceding in his son’s case if Trump had brought him back to the U.S. on Air Force One.
“I would have said thank you if he would have put him on his plane and took him home,” Ball told CNN in a bizarre interview. “There’s a lot of room on that plane.”
Trump and Ball have engaged in a public spat after the president accused Ball, an American media personality and businessman in his own right who is mostly famous for siring three talented basketball players, of being “ungrateful” after Ball refused to express thanks to Trump for talking to Chinese President Xi Jinping about releasing his son.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were detained and questioned on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China, on Nov. 7.
The UCLA freshmen were facing 10 years in prison if they had been convicted of the crime, but they returned safely to the U.S. on Nov. 14.
While LaVar Ball remained defiant he didn’t owe Trump anything and called on the president to let his family “stay in our lane,” he said he didn’t see Trump as the enemy.
“I don’t consider him an opponent, I just consider him a human being, and the president of the United States,” he said.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner