High School Ballers Are Putting LaVar Ball on Blast for Trying to Slide Into DMs to Recruit for Pro League

In late December, LaVar Ball made a stunning announcement. Just weeks after pulling his son LiAngelo out of UCLA and saying he planned on preparing him for the NBA himself, the Ball family patriarch revealed he is going to start his own league called the Junior Basketball Association for those players who don’t want to take part in NCAA basketball.

At the time, Ball said he thought it would be “easy” to convince kids to play in the JBA. The plan was to give all players a salary of somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000 and have them play in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

But it sounds like Ball has run into some trouble recruiting prospects to play in the league. According to high school and college basketball recruiting site Tipton Edits, Ball has used social media DMs to contact about 80 high school players to gauge their interest in playing in the JBA. But all of the top recruits have reportedly turned him down, and two, in particular, have put him on blast for his method of going about recruiting.

Tyler Herro, who hails from Wisconsin and is slated to attend Kentucky next season, is one of the players who was contacted by Ball. He shared a screenshot of the message he received from Big Baller Brand before revealing he declined the offer.

Jalen Carey, a guard from New Jersey who will attend Syracuse next season, was also approached by Ball about joining the JBA. He, too, declined the offer he received and shared a screenshot of it on Snapchat.

In fairness to Ball, trying to contact potential JBA recruits through DMs is probably the most efficient way for him to do it at this time since he’s spent most of the last month in Lithuania with LiAngelo and his youngest son LaMelo. But as SB Nation pointed out, he’s getting a whole bunch of rejections from players right now, so it’s probably time for him to switch up his method. Otherwise, the JBA might disappear just as quickly as it initially popped up.

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LaVar Ball Keeps Feud Going by Posting GIF of Himself Dunking on Donald Trump

LaVar Ball isn't going to let go of a great marketing opportunity his feud with Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Ball appeared on CNN's New Day where he used Trump's words against him, complaining that he “didn’t get a thank you” from the President of the United States for the three pairs of red, white, and blue Big Baller Brand sneakers he sent to the White House. 

Back in November, Ball was adamant that he would not be saying thank you to Trump, even after he claimed to be the one who spoke to Chinese president Xi Jinping​, and helped bring LaVar's son LiAngelo, as well as former UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, back home. “I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody,” he told Chris Cuomo during their interview last month. 

Earlier today, LaVar added more fuel to the fire by posting a GIF which shows him dunking on Trump. 

When the GIF zooms in on the Twitter app on the phone, you can see a tweet from Ball's account, saying, “Stay in yo lane @realDonaldTrump! The Big Baller will put you on a poster.” It will probably only be a matter of time before Trump responds and gives LaVar exactly what he wants—more free yet valuable publicity. 

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LaVar Ball Discusses the Idea of LiAngelo Returning to China to Play Professionally

Now that LaVar Ball has pulled his middle son LiAngelo out of UCLA, everyone is wondering where he’ll play next. It doesn’t sound like he’s going to transfer to a different college, and it also sounds like his European options could be limited. So could he potentially end up back in China of all places, the same place where he was just arrested and jailed for shoplifting?

Shortly after LiAngelo left UCLA, some basketball fans joked about the idea of LiAngelo going back to China.

But it could actually be a real possibility—at least if you ask LaVar. TMZ Sports caught up with the Ball family patriarch at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday afternoon and asked him if he thinks China would be a good landing place for LiAngelo. His response: “Why not?”

LaVar didn’t really shed any light on where LiAngelo might end up, but he did say he doesn’t think Chinese basketball teams would be against bringing LiAngelo back into the mix, despite his recent legal concerns in the country.

“Of course,” LaVar told a TMZ Sports cameraman. “Why not? I don’t know what he’s going to do, but [China] would be happy to have him.”

Chinese teams have welcomed plenty of U.S. basketball stars with open arms in the past. Hell, Stephon Marbury is basically basketball royalty in China at this point. But would they really welcome LiAngelo after all the controversy he caused in November?

It sounds crazy, but then again, this entire LiAngelo saga has been crazy, so would it even surprise you if he ended up in China? Check out the clip above to see LaVar address it. Later in the clip, LiAngelo also makes a brief appearance, mostly ignoring the TMZ Sports cameraman’s questions about his future.

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A Timeline of Donald Trump’s Beef with LaVar Ball

At some point, you just knew that Donald Trump and LaVar Ball were going to cross paths in 2017. After all of the completely off-the-wall shit that has taken place this year, it wouldn’t be right if we went into 2018 without their names being linked for one reason or another. But we really have to give it up to them: In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t imagine them being connected as a result of a story involving Louis Vuitton sunglasses, shoplifting, and international politics.

And yet, here we are! With still about a month to go in 2017, the inevitable Donald Trump vs. LaVar Ball feud that we all knew was going to happen has happened. The two engaged in a war of words over the weekend, and thanks to their beef, LaVar made an appearance on CNN on Monday night that will more than likely receive a response from Trump.

Let’s take a look at how we got here. Here’s a timeline of Donald Trump’s beef with the head of the Ball family.

Nov. 7, 2017: LiAngelo Ball and two UCLA teammates are arrested in China for shoplifting

During a trip to China to take part in a game against Georgia Tech, LiAngelo and his two teammates, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested after they were caught stealing from a Louis Vuitton store near their team hotel. They were released from police custody but were ordered to give up their passports and stay at the hotel until an investigation into the shoplifting allegations took place. Initial reports indicated they could face 3 to 10 years in prison.

Nov. 8, 2017: LaVar Ball says LiAngelo’s arrest “ain’t a big deal”

Despite the possibility of the serious prison sentence that was first reported, LiAngelo’s dad LaVar downplayed the situation. “He’ll be fine,” LaVar told ESPN’s Arash Markazi. “Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.”

Nov. 9, 2017: LaVar is told not to comment on LiAngelo’s arrest again

Just one day after LaVar said LiAngelo’s shoplifting arrest wasn’t “that big a deal,” LaVar refused to comment further on the situation. ESPN’s Arash Markazi reported that someone had told LaVar not to speak about LiAngelo any further until he was allowed to return to the U.S.

Nov. 13, 2017: Trump asks China’s President Xi Jinping to help settle LiAngelo’s case

Several days after LiAngelo was arrested, The Washington Post reported that Trump reached out to President Xi Jinping of China to try and resolve the case. When asked about it, Trump said that President Xi had been “terrific” with regards to his request. But he said that the shoplifting case was “not something that should have happened” in the first place. He also reportedly referred to LiAngelo and his teammates as “knuckleheads” while speaking with President Xi.

Nov. 14, 2017: LiAngelo and his teammates are allowed to leave China

One week after being arrested, LiAngelo and his teammates were finally allowed to leave their hotel and board a flight for Los Angeles. The shoplifting charges that were originally filed against them were reportedly dropped, clearing the way for them to make their way home.

Nov. 15, 2017: Trump calls for LiAngelo and his teammates to thank him for his help

Almost as soon as LiAngelo and his teammates arrived back in the U.S., Trump sent out a tweet that seemed to suggest he was expecting them to say thank you to him at some point. “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump?” he wrote. “They were headed for 10 years in jail!”

Nov. 15, 2017: LiAngelo and his teammates thank Trump

During a press conference in which all three UCLA players apologized for their actions in China, they also offered up their thanks to Trump.

Nov. 18, 2017: LaVar says he doesn’t think Trump helped LiAngelo and his teammates

While speaking with ESPN a few days after LiAngelo’s safe arrival back in the U.S., LaVar said he didn’t believe Trump played a big part in bringing the UCLA players home. “Who?” LaVar said. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LaVar continued: “As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. 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. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him.”

Nov. 19, 2017: Trump says he should have left LiAngelo and his teammates in jail

In response to LaVar’s “Who?” comment, Trump responded by saying that he should have left LiAngelo and his teammates in jail in China. “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 wrote. “I should have left them in jail!”

Trump added: “Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

Nov. 20, 2017: LaVar refuses to thank Trump during CNN appearance

During one of LaVar’s most memorable media appearances yet, he refused to thank Trump for whatever role he played in bringing LiAngelo back to the U.S. “Did he help the boys get out?” he asked. “I don’t know. If I was going to thank someone, I would probably thank President Xi.”

Towards the end of the interview, LaVar also said the only way he would have thanked Trump is if he would have personally put LiAngelo on Air Force One to bring him home. “I would have said, 'Thank you,' if he put him on his plane and took him home,” he said. “Then I would have said, 'Thank you, Mr. Trump, for taking my boys out of China and bringing them back to the U.S.' There’s a lot of room on that plane. I would have said, 'Thank you kindly for that.'”

And at one point, LaVar also made a Trump-esque statement by saying that he played a bigger part in freeing LiAngelo than Trump did. “I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation when we first jumped on there,” he said. “I keep those people in mind.”

Trump and Ball both seem like the kind of guys who want to have the last word. So we wouldn’t expect this to end anytime soon.

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LaVar Ball Shoots Down Rumor About Lonzo Ducking De’Aaron Fox in Summer League

 

Earlier this week, the Lakers held Lonzo Ball out of a Summer League game against the Kings. And while that normally wouldn’t be all that big of a deal, Lonzo was scheduled to square off against De’Aaron Fox in that game for the first time since Fox got the better of him during Kentucky’s win over UCLA in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. So some NBA fans suspected Lonzo was skipping the game in an effort to duck Fox.

Fox himself even seemed to suggest that Lonzo was ducking him when he sent out this tweet that he deleted later:

Since then, Lonzo has silenced those who criticized him for sitting out that game by playing his two best Summer League games thus far. But some fans are still wondering why he didn’t play against the Kings, especially since he’s looked healthy in other games this week.

While attending an AAU tournament with his youngest son LaMelo on Thursday, LaVar Ball was asked about Lonzo’s absence during the Kings game. And as you might expect, he downplayed all of the speculation surrounding why his son sat out of the game. He said Lonzo isn’t “scared of nobody” and scoffed at the idea of Lonzo sitting out to avoid playing against a particular opponent:

“We don’t do that shit,” he said. “We ain’t scared of nobody. What you talking about? Y’all can think whatever y’all want. Whatever Magic [Johnson] and Rob [Pelinka] got him doing is what they got him doing.”

The speculation surrounding Lonzo skipping the game against the Kings has been kind of silly. We could understand people questioning him missing the game if there was some random streetball player taking part in the Summer League that had it out for him. But we’re pretty sure Fox is going to make the Kings roster next season, and we’re pretty sure Lonzo is going to have to play against him at some point. So what exactly would be the point of him ducking him in a Summer League game?

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