FILE – In this July 7, 2017, file photo, LaVar Ball, father of Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball and UCLA player LiAngelo Ball, watches the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers during an NBA summer league basketball game, in Las Vegas. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday, Nov. 19, that he should have left three UCLA basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, accused of shoplifting in China in jail after LaVar Ball minimized Trump’s involvement in winning the players’ release during an interview Saturday, Nov. 18, with ESPN. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Okay so hear me out, guys: Donald Trump needs an opponent. He craves someone who openly and loudly opposes him. If he doesn’t have that, he goes nuts, says stupid things about real policy issues, and generally screw things up.

That is an observation based on observable evidence. Policy-wise, Trump hasn’t been too far off base as a Republican, but his personality is distracting. His bombastic nature is simply not suited for major policy fights.

However, when he has one of those opponents, someone he can publicly focus on, things can get done behind the scenes because they aren’t having to address his statements. I think this is why LaVar Ball is going after Trump. I believe Ball is a Republican plant.

Think about it. It had been a while since Trump really had a single individual to go after. He had been wading into policy debates. That’s not good for the folks wanting to get tax reform done. Something had to be done. Even yesterday, he waded into the Roy Moore debate. Thankfully, the Republicans tapped LaVar Ball, a man all too willing to get some of that spotlight attention for himself.

It all happened very fast. LiAngelo Ball gets arrested in China. Trump works to get them out. Republicans see an opportunity and reach out to Ball. “Distract the President, and you can get some media spotlight on networks you don’t normally have access to. That’s millions of more viewers.”

So, LaVar is asked about Trump’s role in LiAngelo’s release, and Ball gives the perfect response: “Who?”

That is absolutely how you go after Trump. It’s almost too perfect. Trump responded as expected, and Ball makes sure to keep jabbing in all the right ways.

That’s why Trump, even this morning, the day before Thanksgiving, Trump is still going at it.

Meanwhile, Republicans can continue their work on tax reform, which, thanks to Lisa Murkowski, is looking like it has a better shot in the Senate, and other issues in peace.

For a lot of you out there scoffing right now, ask yourselves something: Is THIS really the most unbelievable, outlandish thing that could happen in politics in 2017? Hardly.