LaVar Ball, whose son was one of the three UCLA basketball players detained in China on shoplifting charges last week, said “who?” when asked about President Trump’s role in getting the players released.
"Who?" Ball told ESPN when asked about Trump's role. "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out."
Ball, the CEO of the sports apparel company Big Baller Brand, downplayed Trump’s role in securing his son LiAngelo Ball’s release.
His son, along with two other players, was arrested and accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton in China during his team’s weeklong trip to the country.
"As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine," LaVar 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.”
"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."
Trump took credit for the players’ release in a tweet on Wednesday and asked if the players would thank him because they could have spent "10 years in jail."
"Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump?" Trump tweeted. "They were headed for 10 years in jail!"
The players held a press conference later that same day during which they apologized and thanked Trump for his help.
"To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf," player Cody Riley said. "We really appreciate you helping us out."
The three players are suspended indefinitely from the team.