Regardless of what LeBron James puts on his shoes, there’s no doubting the fact that it’s still good to be the King. Even as the Los Angeles Lakers have scuffled in 2021-22, the 37-year-old is having an MVP-type season for his club and no one is really saying otherwise.
If you ask Memphis Grizzlies fans — and even the team’s announcers — they’ll probably tell you that things are going so well for James, in fact, that the referees are giving him carte blanche to do what he wants.
During the second quarter of the Lakers’ home loss to the Grizz on Sunday, Desmond Bane took the ball to the hoop and drew a foul for an and-one opportunity. As he walked to the free-throw line, James pushed him and began to yell at him.
When the officials opted not to call anything amid the kerfuffle, Memphis’ commentary team nearly blew a gasket. In doing so, they seemed to ignore the fact that Bane made contact with James first (and similarly escaped the whistle). Nevertheless, Grizz fans were right there with them on social media.
When play-by-play guy Pete Pranica wondered, “What is LeBron James’ problem?” former NBA guard Brevin Knight responded, “The thing is, nothing happens, though.”
The Anti-LeBron Crowd Goes Wild
Fan response to the incident was varied — and passionate on both sides — but there was definitely a contingent that felt strongly that James got some star treatment from the officials on the play. Either that or they simply wanted to bash the Lakers star.
“If that [was] any other player [they’re] getting a tech but because [it’s] LeBron he doesn’t,” read one YouTube comment.
“LeFraud crying like usual,” read a second YouTube response.
“Pushes folks. Yells at refs. Nothing.” lamented a Grizzlies fan via Twitter.
“Bron was mad because they was getting crushed and I bet the league is going to [send] him another warning about this type of stuff,” a second tweet read.
“Push, no tech??? Whaaaaaaa???” asked a third YouTube commenter.
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Others, however, came to James’ defense, with many pointing out the extracurricular contact from Bane before the 17-time All-Star resorted to pushing and yelling.
“So nobody saw Bane try to throw his elbow on the low? Biased at its best,” tweeted another fan.
“Desmond Lame out here thinking he’s something cause he’s having a good season,” opined a fourth YouTube commenter. “I’ll come back to this when mans get found out and start falling off… he tried that sneaky elbow after the play thinking LeBron was gonna let it go.”
“He’s earned the no calls in my opinion,” declared a fourth tweeter. “Do what LeBron does for the league and some young buck brushes against him talking s***. He’s lucky it was just a shove.”