(Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images, Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Well, it finally happened: Two of the loudest, brashest voices in modern American media have finally collided with each other, setting off a new Golden Age of petty, asinine bullshit in which the rest of us are all now forced to live. In one corner: Self-promotion sensation LaVar Ball, who’s risen to fame over the last year with bold, hyperbolic statements about the on-court prowess of his basketball playing sons, such as calling his eldest, Lakers player Lonzo Ball, “Magic Johnson with a jumper.” In the other, of course, is America’s Twitter-troll-in-chief, Donald Trump, who punched through into bold new dimensions of littleness today when he suggested he wished he had left Ball’s middle son, an American citizen, to languish in a foreign prison because his father was rude to him.

LiAngelo Ball was one of three UCLA players detained by authorities in China earlier this month, reportedly on charges of shoplifting. Trump supposedly intervened on Ball’s behalf during his diplomatic trip to the Asian country a few weeks ago, helping to secure his return to the U.S., which happened on Tuesday. But while the younger Bell expressed his gratitude to Trump earlier this week, his father—presumably having sensed a compatible strain of his own bullshit wafting in the air—was far more dismissive of Trump’s help. According to ESPN, he responded to questions about Trump’s involvement with a textbook bit of blowhard passive aggression, asking, “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.” 

This act of flagrant, bull-provoking cape-waving, of course, could not stand in Trump’s world of alpha assholery. And so the President of the United States swiftly responded to Ball’s playground taunting via Twitter today, making what—we note for the umpteenth time—the White House has previously stated counts as an official presidential statement:

Of course, you could make the point that Trump was just responding to the cantankerous, attention-seeking Ball’s behavior in kind. The difference, of course, being that Ball is a media pitchman whose entire public identity is tied up in making outrageously dumb statements and then basking in the resultant outcry, while Trump is…also that, while simultaneously being the fucking president.

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Anyway, Ball is reportedly developing a reality show about himself and his family right now with Facebook; we expect to see the first signs of his certain-to-be-monstrously-successful 2020 presidential bid crop up any second now.