We hear LiAngelo Ball less scripted side of what happened in China from a Today show interview today. Here are some quotes:
People starting taking stuff and then me just, you know, not thinking, and being with them. I took something too. We left just thinking you get away with it, you know how kids think.
Speaking only for myself that statement makes me very uncomfortable on multiple levels. LiAngelo is old enough to know you don’t steal. Being a “kid” is not an excuse.
Then, he throws his teammates under the bus by saying he was just following them. So, Jalen Hill or Cody Riley was the leader and he did it because of peer pressure? Yikes.
We were in jail for a day and half. It was horrible.
On the suspension:
That is a long time doing nothing. I’d rather be playing.
Of course, LaVar is surreal in this whole thing. He has an almost smirk as LiAngelo speaks. He then describes how he sent Trump “red white and blue” Big Baller shoes “to be patriotic.”
Then, LaVar ignores reality, as usual, and says:
“China already said okay, he made a bad mistake. We’re going to drop the charges. That’s the punishment they gave them.”
When the NBC journalist tries to interrupt to explain that no, China’s sentence would have been harsher:
“But that’s the punishment they gave. Now we’re over here. We got to serve some more punishment?!”
I almost without words on this. I get tweaking President Trump, probably a good PR move, but to act like the efforts of the President, UCLA, the State Department, etc. did not stop LiAngelo from a harsher punishment is a combination of delusional and ungrateful even by LaVar standards.
LaVar also says:
We only went to UCLA to play basketball, one and done.... He is going to be headed to the NBA. All these boys are going to get on the Lakers.... People are going to look up and say “Wow! How they all get on the Lakers?”.... I ain’t got no fallback plan.
This is in part a lie. LaVar did admit that LiAngelo may be more than a one and done in the past. As for the rest of it, this is Baghdad Bob stuff. Saturday Night Live is going to have a hard job topping this in the sense it is going to be hard to more outrageous than LaVar.
I know I should laugh at this, but it makes me sad — sad for LiAngelo and sad that this crap works to promote stuff. Why would ANYONE buy his shoes? (Gelo has his own shoes now too.)
Here is the full video which NBC clearly edited before broadcasting it.
Enough of my opinions. Feel free to comment below but don’t be like LaVar and talk about politics. Keep the focus on UCLA.
I loved Lonzo, but I am glad we don’t have to deal with LaVar this year.