Old "Big Baller" is the gift that keeps on giving for those like me who appreciate a good conversation about the decaying values and morality in America.

LaVar Ball, father of one of the three dopey UCLA basketball players who faced hard time in a Chinese labor camp for stealing sunglasses while visiting China to participate in a basketball tournament is about as arrogant as he is dumb.

President Donald Trump pulled some strings and was able to get LiAngelo Ball and the two other ugly Americans sprung from a Chinese jail. The trio was shamed into thanking the president for interceding on their behalf and at least one admitted to having learned a lesson from the experience. Not good enough for LaVar Ball who indicated that his son's shoplifting was no big deal and refuses to thank Trump for saving the kid's sorry behind.

Ball appeared on ESPN over the weekend where he suggested that Trump did nothing to help out, prompting Trump to tweet;

"I should have left them in jail."

Last night Ball popped up on CNN where he doubled down on stupid;

"It wasn't like he was in the US and said, 'OK, there's three kids in China. I need to go over and get them.' That wasn't the thought process.  I say thank you when I see something.

 

"If you help, you shouldn't have to say anything," he said. "Let him do his political affairs and let me handle my son and let's just stay in our lane."

Ball said he might have thanked Trump if;

“I would have said thank you if he put him on his plane and took him home.”  “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.”

Mr. Ball played college basketball before signing on to be a practice dummy for several NFL teams. I wonder if he was hit in the head one too many times?

Not only did Ball miss a chance to turn this into a positive discussion about behavior, but by thanking Trump and showing appreciation he might have even turned it all into some positive attention for his business enterprises.

I am equally appalled by the television rent-an-opinion types who have attempted to turn this into a racial incident by suggesting that a white man is racist for suggesting that three misguided black youth own up to their actions and apologize to the nation and show gratitude for those who were able to bail them out.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.