LeBron James has whiny meltdown about refs after Lakers collapse

Apr 22, 2024, 11:59 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2024, 12:00 am

DENVER—The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t look at themselves after blowing a 20-point lead for their 10-straight loss to the Denver Nuggets—nope, they blamed the NBA refs, who famously have it out for LeBron James and his team.

The Nuggets took a 2-0 lead on the Lakers in the first round on Monday, thanks to a Jamal Murray buzzer-beater to complete the largest comeback in the team’s postseason history. But the Lakers were really hurt about a call that went their way then was overturned when they led by 10 still in the third quarter. Michael Porter Jr. was initially ruled for a foul on D’Angelo Russell but it was overturned upon Michael Malone’s review. The play is shown below.

James had a profanity-laced quote about the call and the officials as he walked off the podium and onto the plane back home after the game.

“I don’t understand what’s going on in the replay center, to be honest,” James said. “I said it this year of last year—D’Lo clearly gets hit in the face on the drive. What the f*** do we have a replay center for—It doesn’t make sense to me. It makes no sense. It bothers me. That s*** is… what are we doing?… It’s f****** stupid.”

Of course the Lakers benefited from many calls on their way to the seventh spot in the west this season. Los Angeles led the league in free-throw-attempt differential again, this year at a crazy 507 more free throws shot over their opponents compared to any other team in the league. Combined with last year, LA was at plus-983. Second-place Miami Heat is only a plus-386.)

Russell was also peeved about the call, tweeting about it after the game and also voicing his thoughts at the podium.

“Questionable calls really dictated a lot, we all saw it,” he said.

Maybe that was the spark which ended with Murray at the buzzer.

The Nuggets are now up two games and will play the Lakers in Game 3 of the first round on Thursday night in Los Angeles. When the home team takes each of the first two games, they’re 206-18 in best-of-sevens in the NBA since 1984.


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