There is another shut up coming, and it is aimed directly at LeBron James. Let us recap real quickly for anyone who has been living under a rock the past few months. The Miami Heat went into last nights game against the Chicago Bulls on a 27 game winning streak. ESPN was literally all over the Heat, as any Sportscenter program would devote about 35 minutes of an 60 minute show to the Heat. Many had written the Bulls off, as the team is still without star point guard Derrick Rose, as well as defensive stalwart Joakim Noah and lights out shooter Marco Belinelli.
Well folks, that is why the games are played. Carlos Boozer led the team throughout the night with a double double, little Nate Robinson hit some huge shots and Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich played frustratingly great defense on LeBron and the rest of the team all night long. The Bulls went on to win 109-97, ending history and making sure no team beat the all time mark of 33 straight wins. It was a great game, and hopefully these two teams meet in the playoffs.
After the game, LeBron vented about what he thought were some unfair, hard fouls. Here is one of his quotes, taken from an article on ESPN:
“Let me calculate my thoughts real fast before I say what I want to say. I believe and I know that a lot of my fouls are not basketball plays. First of all, Kirk Hinrich in the first quarter basically grabbed me with two hands and brought me to the ground. The last one, Taj Gibson was able to collar me around my shoulder and bring me to the ground. Those are not defensive…those are not basketball plays.”
Ok LeBron, lets analyze your quote here. The fouls called on LeBron were hard fouls, no doubt. LeBron James is listed as 6’8″, 250 pounds. Hinrich is about 4 inches shorter, and is listed at 190 pounds. When Kirk Hinrich sees the beast of the man that is James charging right at him, what is he to do? This isn’t football, I’m not saying to tackle LeBron, but you got dragged down by Kirk Hinrich, LeBron. If you watch the video,Hinrich doesn’t forcefully and purposely drag him down, and when you have a huge player like James lower his shoulder and charges at your with all of that speed, well basically shit happens! It is part of the game! Hinrich got a flagrant 1 foul on the play, but he didn’t complain afterwards!
Lets look at the other foul LeBron complained about. As LeBron was going up for a layup, two Bulls players clogged the paint right under the rim. Taj Gibson, known for his grit and tenacity on defense, got his arm around LeBron’s neck and looked to wrap him up. LeBrons head went back as he fell to the floor, looking perturbed. This foul is a definite hard foul, but that is part of the game. I am not saying the foul Gibson did was right, but it’s basketball! LeBron has received much worse fouls and has definitely dished out worse fouls himself! Players go up and contest layups! Was Gibson just supposed to sit and watch LeBron dance his way to the basket? Absolutely not!
Heres my thought:
The winning streak did mean a lot to LeBron James and the Heat. They may not admit it, they may spin this however they would like, but the Heat wanted to break the Lakers streak of 33 straight wins. They were so close and could feel it. The Heat will tell you that setting the second longest streak ever is still amazing, and that their goal is to repeat as champions, but deep down the team has to be mad they lost to a Bulls team they should have beat easily.
According to ESPN stats, LeBron James is 6th in free throw attempts, while teammate Dwyane Wade is 8th in free throw attempts per game. The team seems to be able to dish it out, but when something happens to them, they cry about it. Anyone who watches a Heat game will think of ref biasness or complain about all of the flopping the Heat do (I’m looking at you Shane Battier). When you are the defending champions, when you have this amazing win streak and you basically do a Harlem Shake video to laugh at the rest of the league, teams are going to come at you, and come at your with everything they got. The Bulls don’t like the Heat to begin with, and definitely gave 110% effort from the beginning, while the Heat continued to overlook an NBA team and think they could just coast to a win as always.
Let’s not forget LeBron James own flagrant foul he pulled late in the game on Carlos Boozer. ESPN replays showed LeBron purposely drive his shoulder into Boozer out of sheer frustration. What did LeBron have to say after that play? Oh, that’s right nothing! Did anyone hear Boozer complaining about hard fouls after the game like James here? I don’t think so.
“It’s tough. It’s tough. It’s very tough, and I’m not sitting here crying about anything because I play the game at a high level”
It sounds like you are crying to me LeBron. Anytime you complain to the media about some hits basically means you are crying. You play the game at a high level, you think you are a king and you are the best basketball player in the world. You clearly are mad that the streak is over. A hungrier Bulls team beat and frustrated you. Take your lumps, move on and just SHUT UP! Talking about the fouls won’t change the outcome of the game.