The LiAngelo Ball incident simply will not go away. First of all it was extremely bizarre. What are the odds of three UCLA basketball players robbing four high-end stores in China while on a basketball trip? Secondly, what are the odds that President Trump would personally negotiate with China’s President Xi Jinping to secure their release? Add to that a vested interest by the media to keep the story alive and you have The Chinese 3 – LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – dominating the 24-hour news cycle.
Former UCLA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was on Fox Sports The Herd last week and you guessed, Colin Herd asked Kareem about LiAngelo Ball and The Chinese 3:
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) November 22, 2017
Colin Cowherd: The kids go over to China … they steal glasses. My feeling is the university is too proud and dignified, “You’re out of the program.” Do you believe they deserve a second chance … it was four stores, multiple theft, international incident hurting the brand of UCLA. I would not give them a second chance. Would you?
Jabbar: I don’t know the kids. I know that people who are 18 and 19 years old usually don’t make good decisions. It stained part of my legacy. I was offended by it in that sense. I did not like seeing the program associated with shoplifting … I think they deserve a chance to redeem themselves. They have to redeem themselves. They have to go out and prove it. Show some character … that is what I would like to see. I would like to see some character.
One of the Ball kids is driving a Ferrari to UCLA. This is disgusting. I don’t like that. It sets a bad precedent for what our school is supposed to be about and what our basketball program is supposed to be about.
Cowherd clearly caught Kareem off guard with the question about LiAngelo. The Shock Exchange thought he handled it with aplomb. Kareem could not go against the actions of the school. As alumni you always want to be invited back and publicly undermining UCLA coach Steve Alford or the administration would not have been a good look.
Kareem was not known for being very personable during his playing days. That might have hampered his ability to become a coach in the NBA. Over the past few years he has warmed up to the media and shared more of his personality with the public. He practically had to in order to remain a part of basketball. The media has also helped the big man promote several of his books and entertainment projects. The flip side is that if networks are going to promote you, then you have to feed them controversy and/drama in return. The Herd segment involved Kareem stitching on former UCLA boosters and him speaking on the LiAngelo situation.
The Clap Back
Lavar Ball, LiAngelo’s father, will not take this lightly. On a CNN segment he told President Trump to “stay in your lane” in regards to how he raises LiAngelo. Lavar, CEO of Big Baller Brand, typically does not tolerate any negative references pursuant to his kids. Lavar described the China incident as an childish indiscretion on CNN. Secondly, Lavar has a reality TV show and a sneaker line. LiAngelo’s brother, Lonzo Ball, plays for the L.A. Lakers so LiAngelo can afford to drive a Ferrari. The Shock Exchange fully expects Ball to clap back at Jabbar, mentioning everything from illegal payments from the UCLA booster to his lack of coaching opportunities in the NBA. Expect more fodder for the blogs and social media from Lavar.
Trump And The Global Economy
The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.
The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?