LeBron James cries foul on being unable to draw foul calls
LeBron James expressed frustration with the surprisingly low number of foul calls he’s drawn in the postseason, arguing that the amount of contact he’s receiving in the paint should be enough for the refs to blow their whistles.
“I know I’m getting hit, grabbed and pushed just like everybody else out on the floor,” James told the media Wednesday, via cleveland.com’s Chris Haynes. “But at the end of the day, I can’t worry about that or [let it] stop me from being in the paint. I’ve shot the least amount of free throws in my playoff career so far to start off a playoff series, and I’ve probably lived in the paint more than any year. So, I don’t know. The only thing I can do is control what I can control.”
Despite spending a significant amount of the time in the paint, James has only earned 16 trips to the free throw line in six playoff games.
James insists he’s continue to drive towards the rim despite the lack of foul calls and says he’s been paying more visits to the painted area in order to keep the Cavaliers offense “well-balanced.”
James seemingly was trying to be cautious with his remarks to avoid calling out officials, but he clearly is becoming frustrated, singling out one play in particular from Monday’s Game 1 victory over the Atlanta Hawks he wished the refs would have seen his way, saying he got “smacked in the face on one of my drives with a no-call.”
Interestingly, James was the source of referee criticism during the Cavaliers’ first-round series against the Detroit Pistons. Stan Van Gundy was fined $25,000 for criticizing refs while arguing that James doesn’t get offensive fouls called on him.
If James believes he’s not getting calls and his opponents believes refs aren’t calling fouls on him in the paint, perhaps the long-held belief that referees don’t know how to officiate James because of his unique blend of size, skill, speed and strength holds somewhat true.
Either way, James won’t allow non-calls to stop him from attacking the rim, even if he continues to get knocked to the floor only not to hear a whistle.
“They won’t get to me,” James said. “I continue to get up. I’m not worried about that.”