LeBron James Disagrees With Officiating, Fouling Out In Game 4

May 28, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) reacts to fouling out against the Indiana Pacers in game four of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana won 99-92. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James does not foul out. Either it’s because he’s clever, the NBA doesn’t want him to or he’s just not the fouling type, the fact of the matter is LeBron James just does not foul out of games. But that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers as not only did LeBron James foul out, he did so with almost a minute left in the game.

So, naturally, LeBron was less than pleased with how the calls from referees were handled in the Miami Heat’s Game 4 loss to the Pacers. He wisely didn’t openly blast the officials but he danced around it in his carefully placed criticism of the calls that didn’t go his way — specifically the call that caused him to foul out.

“I was going to set a screen and I felt like I was stationary — and D Wade rejected the pick and roll,” LeBron said in his televised press conference after the 99-92 loss which evened Miami’s series with Indiana 2-2. “Lance actually ran into me…I believe I was straight up and down on Paul George’s drive, on the and-1. They reversed a call with (Roy) Hibbert, called a foul on me on that one. And at the end of the third they called a push off on David West.”

You really can’t fault LeBron for complaining about the final call, as it was indeed a pretty bad call especially given the situation it was called in. Typically, the cry from die-hards is to let them play and the officials really should never factor into the outcome of a game unless it’s absolutely needed. That wasn’t the case in Game 4 and LeBron has the right to be angry.

But he went on to call into question other calls made in the game which reeked of him trying to play up the bad call into a poorly officiated game.

“It was a couple of calls that I didn’t feel like were fouls, personal fouls on me,” James said of the other calls that didn’t go Miami’s way in Game 4. “That’s how the game goes sometimes.”

To be honest, the calls were going both ways all night and it was a tightly officiated game that not everyone adjusted to properly. You can fault the refs for coming out of nowhere with a call that was a no-call the entire game, but that doesn’t retroactively eliminate what was a well officiated game. Heat fans will endlessly have their gripes because not only did the team lose but King James seems to be giving what they think is free reign to sandbag the officials.

The fix is not in. The NBA is not trying to get the Pacers to the Finals over the Heat in some 1919 Black Sox scandal and the officials did not call an overall bad game. Also, the Heat did not lose because of the officiating in the game the way you think — they failed to adjust to the calls being made and stubbornly thought the refs would adjust to them.

That didn’t happen and blaming the refs for Miami losing is beneath even Heat fans.


Topics: Indiana Pacers, Lebron James, Miami Heat, NBA

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  • ehsank24

    So blaming refs is a low for Heat fans, but when every other NBA blames a ref for anything that goes for the Heat it’s alright? Josh, you are a better writer than that. Pacers fans would have been blaming the refs if the difference in the game was the botched shot clock violation. That was a worse call, but the point stands there.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Where does he say that it is ok for other teams to blame refs? He also doesn’t say the Pacers wouldn’t have blamed the refs.

      He said that LeBron is whining a little bit (he is) and that fans shouldn’t be complaining about the refs because in his opinion, the game was called down the line.

      • ehsank24

        I never said he said that. But where is this article after every Heat win when fans complain the Heat get preferential treatment

        I mainly took exception to the “even below Heat fans” comment.

        Would really have no issues beyond that.

        • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

          “So blaming refs is a low for Heat fans, but when every other NBA blames a ref for anything that goes for the Heat it’s alright?”

          You are implying that because he said it isn’t ok for Heat fans to complain that he thinks it is ok for fans other than the Heat to complain. Yo then say that he is a “better writer than that” so you are again implying that what you just said is what Josh thinks.

          We like a little spice with our sports news. Josh thinks Heat fans complain a lot. Cheap shot? Perhaps. =)

          • ehsank24

            Fair point. Was not trying to imply that, maybe the wording was incorrect.

            But he’s a Bulls fan, his team complains when they tackle someone ;)

  • stevo

    No question the officials determined the outcome of game 4 between Miami & Indy. Or if you prefer influenced it in more than a big way. What is more likely… Dozens of officials have observed Lebron’s play and the numbers show he just doesn’t foul very often. And fouling out is incredibly rare for him. So what is easier to believe… Lebron made a drastic change in play based on the Pacers play, or the officials made a few poor calls? Officials are notorious for making a few errors every game. Why do you think they go to the monitors so often? It just so happens that the calls didn’t really lean Miami’s way. Pacers should be happy about that. Pacers want to win at any cost. If it suits them to argue a call they do. If it suits them to praise the officials because they benefit from some calls they do. Just look at the look on David West’s face every time he got called for a foul in game 4 ( it’s like he believes he’s not capable of ever fouling lol). One game does not a series make, nor a few poor calls. Whoever loses this series will learn a valuable lesson about what should have been. And that it is not enough to just sneak by opponents. Game three was such a blowout nobody questioned the officiating. Go big or go home is what they say. If Miami deserved to win game 4 they should have done so in a decidedly fashion, so a few poor calls wouldn’t have mattered. Even if the Cinderella pacers could manage to route Miami in 7, they’ll need more than a few calls to beat SA.

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