NBA Refs Are a Joke

LeBron goes for 41-8-9 on 50% shooting, and was a +1 while he was on the floor in 44 minutes, and the Lakers still lose because the refs are clearly and obviously determined to rig games against them.

What the hell is this?

This is a clear and obvious foul. Joel Embiid is getting this call every day of the week and twice on Sundays. So is Giannis, so is Luka, so is Harden, so is KD–so is every other superstar in the league, other than LeBron.

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are getting foul calls like the entire NBA would go bankrupt without them. Tatum was 11/12 from the line, so he was able to score 30 despite shooting 8/25 from the floor. Brown went to the line 11 times.

LeBron? 6 free throw attempts. He hit 5 of them.

Now do people understand why LeBron complains to the refs? He gets the worst whistle of any superstar in league history, which is wild because he’s the face of the league. Yet again he got the most votes for the All Star team, as he does every year, showing that no matter how much ESPN and the NBA media hate on him, he’s still the most popular player.

As much as he complains, it’s not enough. The refs are absolutely out to get him. I’d wager the league just wants him to retire because with each passing day he plays, he puts the GOAT debate even further out of reach, but who knows.

This game should never have even gone to overtime. LeBron was fouled there, he should’ve been at the line, and one free throw wins the game.

Also, Darvin Ham needs to learn about fouling when you’re up 3 points at the end of the game. I mean, come on, man. The Lakers had a 3 point lead with under 10 seconds left in this game, and let Al Horford get off a three. It hit the top of the backboard, but Jaylen Brown got the rebound and the putback, and then was fouled for an and-one. But if Ham had just had his team foul and send Boston to the line, it would have been a one point Laker lead and Lakers with the ball with under 10 seconds to play.

I just don’t understand Ham’s thinking in these late game situations. The Lakers blew a winnable game against Dallas a couple weeks ago by not fouling when up 3 with under 10 seconds left.

The Western Conference is so close. There’s 3 games separating the 13th seed and the 5th seed; you cannot afford to be blowing these games on a regular basis.

This was an extremely winnable game. The Lakers were basically winning the whole way, and then let it get away at the end. AD was clearly not back to being his normal self, as he only had 16 points on 6/15 shooting. He played 34 minutes including OT, and 3 of his points were on a useless three-pointer when the game was already out of hand at the end of OT. And yet still the Lakers had a chance to win this game if Darvin Ham had just had his guys foul Boston at the end of regulation.

But even then, the Lakers still should have won this game if the refs simply called a foul when LeBron got hacked at the end.

I’ve already gone over just how glaringly obvious it is that the refs have it out for LeBron this season, but I’ll repost the chart just in case it wasn’t already clear:

No scorer in the top 10, who attacks the rim as much as LeBron, gets anywhere near as bad a whistle as LeBron.

It’s just pitiful. LeBron would be averaging 35+ a game if he got a fair whistle. Giannis shoots more than TWICE as many free throws a game as LeBron does.

The NBA is such a joke.

Of course, the officials have already admitted that they missed the call:

Great, awesome. I’m sure you guys will learn from this one and make sure it never happens again.

Dennis Schroder summed it up well on IG right after the game:

To lighten the mood, let’s take a look at Skip Bayless’ Twitter timeline. He tweeted this right after Jaylen Brown tied it up and there were 6 seconds left in the game, Laker ball:

Skip seems to have it in his mind that LeBron is afraid to shoot free throws at the end of games, because obviously we all know LeBron is mentally weak and crumbles in late game situations, unlike of course Michael Jordan who we all know shot 100% from the field and 100% from the line (with his eyes closed) in clutch situations.

Then, LeBron did drive to the hole, but the refs of course didn’t call a foul, so of course, Skip had to move the goalposts:

Yes, LeBron was freaking out over the no-call for over a minute, but Skip knew the truth. Skip, as we all know, has a gift for being able to read LeBron’s mind, and Skip knew that LeBron was actually relieved that he didn’t have to shoot a free throw with the game on the line.

This is classic LeBron hater logic, right here. LeBron can never win in their book, even when he directly proves them wrong. They’ll just make up some other bullshit.

Skip seems to have it in his mind that LeBron is constantly bricking free throws and costing his team games, which is funny because Skip, of all people, should know that LeBron can hit free throws in the clutch. LeBron not only hit the dagger against Skip’s Spurs in Game 7 of the 2013 Finals, he put the game on ice with two clutch free throws with 23 seconds to play, and was a perfect 8/8 from the line in that game:

Not only that, but LeBron hit the game-sealing free throw in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals to put the Cavs up 93-89 at the end.

LeBron has won two Finals Game 7s at the free throw line, yet Skip thinks LeBron is afraid to go to the free throw line at the end of a regular season game in January in year 20 of his career? Makes absolutely zero sense, but that’s LeBron haters for you.

At this point in LeBron’s career, in year 20, if he is missing free throws in crunch time, it’s either because he’s unfocused/disinterested due to the fact that it’s a regular season game, or his mechanics are off in general. To act like the guy has nerves at the free throw line in year 20 in the regular season, it’s ridiculous.

You can call into question a guy’s mental toughness when he has consistently failed to deliver in the crunch time, or when it’s a young player who hasn’t won anything yet and the moment is too big for him (like Jayson Tatum in the 2022 Finals, for instance).

But when a guy is in year 20 and has been to the Finals 10 times, winning 4 of them, including winning two of them at the free throw line in Game 7s, it’s just grasping at this point.

The sad, desperate grasping of a man who is clinging like dear life to the Jordan Mythology.

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