- Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
- LaVar Ball says he sent President Donald Trump some of his sneakers.
- That’s exactly what Mark Cuban predicted Ball would do.
- The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider when asked if Trump received the sneakers.
LaVar Ball, the bombastic businessman who has found himself feuding with President Donald Trump in recent weeks, claims he sent the president three pairs of his “Big Baller Brand” sneakers.
And it’s exactly what billionaire businessman Mark Cuban predicted the outspoken Ball would do.
“I sent three pairs of Big Ballers to 1600 Pennsylvania,” Ball said. “One in red, one in white, and one in blue to show we’re patriotic.”
Ball said again on CNN Tuesday morning that he had sent the sneakers to the White House, though he told host Chris Cuomo that he hadn’t requested a return receipt.
In mid-November, after Trump asked if the three UCLA basketball players – including Ball’s son LiAngelo – who were detained in China “will say thank you President Trump,” for helping secure their release, Cuban predicted that the father would end up sending Trump some sneakers.
“I can’t wait to see President Trump walking around the Oval Office in a Trump branded suit and the Big Baller Brand sneakers I’m sure LaVar will send him for Christmas!” Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” told Business Insider in an email.
The back-and-forth between Trump and Ball
The feud between Trump and Ball, whom Axios once wrote used “the Trump playbook to conquer sports media,” escalated quickly last month. After the UCLA players thanked Trump, Ball declined to applaud the president for helping secure his son’s return back home.
Speaking to ESPN, Ball minimized Trump’s role in securing the LiAngelo’s release.
“Who?” LaVar said of Trump’s involvement. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” he added. “I’m happy with how things were handled.”
Trump seized on that comment, suggesting that he “should have left” the players “in jail” because Ball was ungrateful for his help.
“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” he tweeted. “I should have left them in jail!”
- Thomson Reuters
Ball doubled down in an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“I don’t have to go around saying ‘thank you’ to everybody,” Ball said. “He didn’t call me. I didn’t shake his hand. He didn’t have to say nothin’, but I’m just sayin’. I have to know what somebody is doing before I say ‘thank you.’ I’m not just going to go around saying ‘thank you.'”
That only served to further Trump’s anger with him. The president tweeted that “IT WAS ME” who secured LiAngelo Ball’s release, calling the elder Ball “a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.”
“LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you,” he continued. “But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”
The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider when asked if Trump received the sneakers.