LeBron James Upset: Should Refs Have Called Flagrant Foul On Heat Star? [POLL]
As USA Today notes, the Heat finally lost on Wednesday, ending the second-longest win streak in NBA history. It was Miami's first defeat since February 1.
Per CBS Sports, the Bulls upset the Heat thanks to some physical play in the paint. At one point, guard Kirk Hinrick literally tackled James to stop him from scoring on a fast break. Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter, forward Taj Gibson grabbed James' shoulder and swung near his head.
Neither of these plays were ruled flagrant fouls. According to the Washington Post, LeBron James told reporters he was upset that these moves did not receive harsher punishment.
"I believe and I know that a lot of my fouls are not basketball plays. First of all, Kirk Hinrich in the first quarter basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground. The last one, Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not defensive ... those are not basketball plays."
Hinrich, for his part, told ESPN that he did not think he had done anything wrong on the play.
"You don't realize how strong that guy is and you forget sometimes, but with his speed and strength, you can't take anything for granted, so I still feel like I got the worst of it, obviously," he said. But it was just one of those plays. I knew I was going to try to take a foul and then I just started going backwards and pulled him with me.
LeBron James got even more upset in the fourth quarter when he was called for a flagrant "1" foul on Carlos Boozer. One play after the aforementioned Gibson foul, James gave a hard push to Boozer below the forward's neck. As USA Today notes, Miami was in the middle of a comeback at the time, but the foul called seemed to hinder any momentum.
"I'm not sitting here crying about anything,'' James told the Associated Press after the game. "I play the game at a high level, I play with a lot of aggression, I understand that some of the plays are on the borderline of a basketball play or not. But sometimes, you know, I don't know ... it's frustrating."
The NBA website gives the following definition of a flagrant "1" foul:
"[A flagrant 1 is] unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent. The opposing team is awarded two (2) free throws and possession."
The website also notes that the League Office has the right to classify or declassify a flagrant foul. The Office is expected to look at how harsh the contact was, whether the fouling player was trying to block a shot or perform another similar basketball move, and whether the fouling player wound up or followed through after the contact in question. The League Office is also expected to look at any injuries or fighting that resulted from a foul.
Based on those criteria, do you think LeBron James should be upset about his flagrant foul call? Check out the video here and vote in our poll below.
Behind The Scenes Look At Miami Heat's Winning Streak
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LeBron James Complains To NBA About Hard Fouls: "Not Basketball Plays"; "Happening All Year"
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