LaVar Ball said Tuesday that he sent Donald Trump three pairs of his NBA player son's signature basketball shoes, noting the sneakers were red, white, and blue to show the president that he is patriotic.
Ball appeared on CNN's "New Day" to discuss his recent decision to pull his son LiAngelo Ball out of UCLA after the freshman basketball player was suspended indefinitely for his shoplifting arrest in China that drew international attention.
Chinese authorities arrested LiAngelo and two other teammates last month for what UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero later said was stealing items from three stores during a 90-minute free period in the eastern city of Hangzhou while the Bruins basketball team was on a trip abroad. President Donald Trump, who was in Asia at the time, mentioned the matter to Chinese President Xi Jinping and helped get the players released so they could return home. Trump and LaVar Ball publicly feuded after the latter said the president did not deserve credit for intervening to get his son released.
When CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Ball whether he has learned anything more about Trump interceding on behalf of his son and his two teammates, Ball said, "I haven't learned anything. It was just a conversation we had, and that was it."
Ball added that he sent Trump three pairs of his eldest son Lonzo Ball's signature shoes, the Big Baller Brand ZO2 Prime Remix. Lonzo currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
"I even sent him a pair—the ZO2s, come on now," Ball said.
"You sent the president a pair of sneakers?" Cuomo asked
"I sent him three pairs—red, white, and blue—[to] show him that we're patriotic," Ball said. "To ease him up a little bit."
"Did you get a thank you?" Cuomo asked
"And didn't get a thank you, but I ain't gonna stress it out," Ball said.
"You don't seem that happy," Cuomo responded.
"1600 Pennsylvania, the shoes are there," Ball said. "He know he got them shoes. And I tell you what, behind closed doors I think he got them on his feet just dancing."
Ball added that the president is singing "thank you, thank you" while wearing the shoes.
The White House has not disclosed whether Trump received the shoes.