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LaVar Ball used Trump's playbook to conquer sports media

LaVar Ball and Donald Trump are squabbling about giving the President credit for bringing home three UCLA basketball players — including Ball's son LiAngelo — after the players were arrested for shoplifting in China.

The beef brings two of the biggest attention hounds, usually in separate spheres of the media universe, into the same news story. Ball, father of three talented basketball players, used some familiar tactics to become Trump's equivalent in sports media.

Why it matters: Donald Trump created the blueprint for building an avalanche of earned media momentum: be the loudest, most outrageous voice in the room. Generate buzz with confrontational statements, outsized self-promotion, and abundant charisma. With Ball, we saw that strategy executed to a tee in a different habitat of the media ecosystem, and we could see more copycats.