Anthony Mahon / culture / November 2017

Lavar Ball vs. Donald Trump

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In a battle that pretty much sums up 2017, two of the most obnoxious personalities in America today have been going head-to-head: LaVar Ball and Donald Trump.

The issue began when LaVar’s son LiAngelo, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill—all members of the UCLA Bruins basketball team—were arrested for shoplifting from three different stores in China. All three were released on bail, which is fortunate, considering petty theft yields more serious punishment in China than America.

President Trump took to Twitter to claim credit for the boys’ release.

In a public statement, all three athletes thanked Donald Trump for organizing their release.

When asked in an ESPN interview about Donald Trump’s role in his son’s release, Lavar had the following to say:

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

This prompted a series of rage tweets from the President:

Why the President of the United States has made LaVar Ball of all people a priority is anyone’s guess but his tweets were addressed by Ball in a bizarre CNN interview with Chris Cuomo.

Ball not only vehemently declined to thank President Trump but made sure to use the heightened media attention to promote his family clothing company, Big Baller Brand on-air.

More rage tweets followed:

Despite the negative reactions from people who have used LaVar’s unwillingness to say “thank you” as a poor excuse to paint him as a bad father, the Ball family patriarch is laughing his way to the bank.

According to Apex MG Analytics, Ball’s feud with Trump has generated over $13 million in free advertising value for Big Baller Brand. This free advertising came just in time for the release of Big Baller Brand’s ZO2 Prime Remix Signature sneaker.

While LaVar Ball still has yet to thank Donald Trump, he did offer to send him a pair of ZO2s in a TMZ Sports interview with the hopes that the President will “ease up a little bit.”

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