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.