Lakers’ LeBron James Rips Refs After Traveling Calls

LeBron James, Lakers (right)

Getty LeBron James, Lakers (right)

The Lakers lost a tight one on Monday to the Warriors, but if you ask folks in the purple-and-gold, they’ll tell you, subtly, that they also lost to the NBA’s pack of referees. Complaints about officiating were abundant in the postgame press conferences.

No one was more frustrated with the refereeing in the game than LeBron James, and his ire was focused on a 12-second span in the final two minutes of the game in which he was whistled for a traveling call and Warriors forward Draymond Green was not.

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James responded after the game:

I don’t know. I seen ’em on replays, and it was the move I’ve been making pretty much my whole career. If that’s the call that’s gonna be called travel, then I’d like to see it across the whole board. Every game, consistent like that.

It’s so funny because the very next play, Draymond gets into the lane and slides his foot, and it’s not called and the same official [who] called me for travel is right there on the play, and told me he didn’t travel. That’s definitely something that I gotta be more leery about, but I have not been called for travel like that in my career.

LeBron James & Draymond Green Clearly Traveled

The call against James came with 1:51 to play in the game and the Lakers trailing by two. James had the ball on the right wing and as he began to drive to the rim, he picked up his foot without traveling. That is, technically, a travel and refs have been tightening up on those calls this season.

Here is the travel call against James:

The second call came as the Warriors attacked the basket the other way, with Green gathering the ball after a pass from Stephen Curry on a cut into the lane, moving both feet, then moving both feet again without being whistled for traveling.

The NBA did admit that the non-call on Green’s travel was an error when its two-minute report was released on Tuesday.

Lakers Frustrated During, After Loss to Warriors

James had been called for an almost identical traveling violation minutes earlier in the fourth quarter. That time, he had the ball on the left wing and was attempting to make a drive when he picked up both feet and was whistled for the turnover.

But, leading up to that play, Dennis Schroder took a pass at the top of the 3-point line with no one on him and only 4.3 seconds on the shot clock. Rather than going up with the shot, Schroder faked, then passed to James with the shot clock at 1.8 seconds.

After the play, James had words for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had also passed up an open look on the play.

After the game, Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma acknowledged that the team was frustrated down the stretch of the game. “We had a couple possessions, a couple travels off of extra passes that we could have shot and fired,” Kuzma said, according to The Athletic.

Coach Frank Vogel got into the fray, too, with 6:32 to play in the game. The Warriors’ Eric Paschall bowled toward the basket and ran over Schroder, laying out Schroder on the court. No charging call was whistled and Vogel was so upset, he received a technical foul.

It was the fourth tech of the game, two against the Warriors and two on the Lakers.

Vogel, though, remained diplomatic after the game. “I don’t have anything to say about the officiating,” he said.

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