It’s not 100% certain if Donald Trump had much, or anything at all to do with the release of three basketball players from UCLA men’s basketball team who were being held in custody in China for allegedly stealing a pair of sunglasses. Liangelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested and detained in China for the alleged theft. During the time of the theft, Donald Trump was in China for a summit, where he was hanging closely to China’s president Xi Jinping. Those are the facts that we do know. What we don’t know is what happened between the time of the arrest of the basketball players, and the time of their release. The basketball players were released after a day or two, and they returned to the United States. Almost immediately upon returning, the three held a press conference. Reading from written statements, each one of the players apologized for their actions, which they all agreed were “stupid” and thanked coaches, the Chinese police, the United States Government, and Donald Trump by name. Each player took turns reading from almost exact replicas of the written statements. Everything was over. Or at least we thought. Trump took to Twitter afterward to praise himself and take soul responsibility for the release of the players. Lavar Ball, father of Liangelo, was asked about Trump’s part in helping his son to get released. Ball replied.
“Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
Trump wasn’t willing to let the comments by Lavar Ball go unchallenged. He fired back via Twitter a few hours later.
Let’s look beyond the fact that a United States president is saying that he should’ve left United States citizens in prison because the families of the players released didn’t place sufficient praise on him, in his opinion. Intervening on behalf of United States citizens is a thing that is totally normal and expected of a United States president and U.S Embassy’s all around the world. It is not something extra, as Donald Trump seems to think. But let’s look past the obvious and take a look at something else for a minute. Anyone who has ever heard of Lavar Ball knows that he’s a salesman. He has found a way to sell his son’s as the best basketball players on the planet at every opportunity. Lavar Ball has mastered the art of self promotion. Anytime Lavar Ball says something, there are hundreds of media people around waiting to get a sound-bite. Lavar Ball is a great salesman who definitely has the ear of the media. Donald Trump is the president of the United States. Donald Trump has over 40 million followers on Twitter. A lot of them are probably bots, but he still has over 40 million followers……..most of which have probably never heard the name Lavar Ball…..until Trump tweeted about him. Just out of pure curiousity, if 3 out of 10 of Donald Trump’s followers see Trump tweet about Lavar Ball and get curious enough about who this person is to google him, and then 1 out of those 3 are curious enough to google Big Baller Brand and check out the site, hell maybe even buy themselves some things from the site, then Trump’s tweet about Lavar Ball becomes free promotion for Lavar. You think Lavar Ball doesn’t know this? Lavar knows that Donald Trump tweeting about him is the best FREE advertising and promotion a person could ever ask for. Whether Trump’s Tweet was negative or positive. Which is probably part of the reason he baited Trump into a response. Trump’s response was based off of emotion and rush to judgement. Plus, let us not forget that Trump is looking for any distraction from two big stories that broke this weekend. Number one was that one of his former campaign people got convicted on some child molestation charges. A thing that surely points directly back to Trump, since he always claims to hire “only the best people.” The second thing Trump was looking to distract from this weekend, was the Mueller investigation, which is heating up again. Robert Mueller is now issuing subpoenas to the Justice Department and some of his bosses, for emails and other documents pertaining to Trump’s interactions with people from the department around the time of James Comey’s firing. These are most likely documents that the department will have no choice but to turn over to the investigation. And this is probably something that Trump’s contacts in the department (Jeff Sessions and others) have probably already warned him about. Anytime Trump strays to other topics, there is something big going on behind closed doors in the Trump-Russia investigation. Stay tuned. I’m sure we will be hearing something about that this week. But back to the Trump-Lavar Ball situation….Lavar Ball outsmarted and beat Trump on this one……BIG TIME. Lavar Ball benefits from Trump’s Tweets that were surely attempts to distract from the real news, more than Trump or anyone else did. Of course, Donald Trump’s ego won’t allow him to see this.