Steve Alford 'surprised' LiAngelo Ball leaving, defends himself, UCLA

Steve Alford 'surprised' LiAngelo Ball leaving, defends himself, UCLA

Steve Alford 'surprised' LiAngelo Ball leaving, defends himself, UCLA

LiAngelo is the middle child of Ball's three sons.

"I'm going to make him way better for the draft than UCLA ever could have".

LiAngelo told "Access Hollywood" in an interview aired Tuesday on the "Today" show that his UCLA suspension is "just a long time of doing nothing". LiAngelo, along with the two other UCLA players, was suspended indefinitely upon their return to the United States after the incident, which occurred in Hangzhou while the team was in China for a game.

"Cody and Jalen have done very, very good in what we wanted them to do academically, so all of our communication with them has been good", Alford said.

While Ball and his teammates did thank President Trump for helping to get them out of trouble at their first press conference back in the US, his father LaVar declined to do so time and again, resulting in a well-documented back-and-forth.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, LaVar Ball said in an interview on CNN that UCLA's coaches should shoulder some of the responsibility for the situation in China involving Ball and two other Bruins freshmen that blew up into an worldwide incident.

In a report from BasketEurope (h/t Sportando), the family's representation has been gauging interest from teams about the younger brothers of Lonzo Ball. "I just want to play, period".

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Asked if LiAngelo agreed with the decision, the elder Ball told the Times, "My boy is loyal to me".

LiAngelo Ball is regarded as a long shot to be drafted in June, and that was before his arrest in China.

He also called Ball "a poor man's version of Don King, but without the hair".

Alford said he has not talked with Ball or his father, LaVar Ball, and does not plan to reach out to either of them. "I'm at the Ostin Center every day working, so if they need to talk, they know where to find me".

As part of their indefinite suspensions, the players haven't been allowed to suit up, practice or travel with the Bruins. Outsiders looking in at him see an over-the-top father, but they really should see a person manipulating the media for the enhancement of his Big Baller Brand. "That's like telling the Clippers back in the day not to play JJ Redick", LaVar Ball said.

He is everywhere. Since May of 2017, Ball has been in the news for promoting his "Big Baller Brand" shoes (a pair of which he sent to Trump as a peace offering); advertising his Facebook television series, "Ball in the Family;" criticizing the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching staff; bashing Lonzo's teammates; being criticized for comments he made about women; or claiming he can beat Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one basketball. LaMelo committed to attend UCLA in two years.

"Who?" Ball asked ESPN's Arash Markazi, when asked about Trump's involvement in the matter.

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