LeBron James takes vicious elbow to the throat from Josh McRoberts (video)
With the Miami Heat clinging to a 97-94 lead on the offensive end with less than a minute remaining in the team’s Game 2 showdown with the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night, the ball was in the hands of LeBron James, as it should be in these kind of situations.
What followed as LeBron attempted to stick a dagger in the Bobcats resulted in a play that left LeBron on the floor clutching his throat and may leave Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts on the bench for Game 3 of the series.
James wheeled around a high screen on top of the key and made a beeline to the bucket. As James entered the lane and rose, McRoberts aggressively challenged, catching LeBron square in the neck with his elbow.
James immediately went down and appeared in obvious pain and discomfort as he attempted to catch his breath and figure out if all the bones and sinewy tendons and whatnot in his throat and neck area were still int the right place. Lucky for LeBron that McRoberts doesn’t have bony, sharp elbows, as the clothesline move may have left him decapitated.
McRoberts was called for a foul on the play, although somewhat surprisingly was not whistled for a flagrant. He denied any intent to injure after the game.
“Just kind of got caught up in the air there,” he said, via Bleacher Report. “Came for the rotation. I’d have to see it. But I think, for me, in real time, he was coming pretty fast down the lane, he’s a big, strong guy. I was just trying to stop him from, first, getting the shot up. But then I think I just kind of got caught up in the air. It probably looked worse than what it was.”
When asked if he believed it should have been called a flagrant, McRoberts shrugged off the question.
“They didn’t call it,” McRoberts said. “So, no. It wasn’t intentional, so, no.”
James, meanwhile, claimed not to know what was called immediately after the play, saying he simply was “trying to catch his breath.”
“I had no idea what the call was,” James said. “I knew it was a foul, but I didn’t know if it was going to be a flagrant or not. I haven’t seen it again. I don’t need to see it again. The most important thing is we win the game.”
And that the Heat did. Once he composed himself, James ultimately sank one of two free throws and the Heat held on for a 101-97 win and a commanding 2-0 series lead.
As far as McRoberts is concerned, the league can review plays after the fact even if no flagrant foul was called, meaning he still is subject to NBA discipline and may find himself on the bench for Game 3.
(GIF via Eye on Basketball)