Sour grapes? Sore loser? Or does LeBron James have a legitimate gripe? After last night’s upset of the super-streaking Miami Heat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls, James took serious issue with the Bulls’ physical play and hard fouls.
‘Bron had a problem with two fouls in particular: a bear hug from Kirk Hinrich on a drive and a horse collar from Taj Gibson. Here’s what James had to say after the game:
“Let me calculate my thoughts real fast before I say (what I want to say),” James said. “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.”
LeBron would go on to say that this type of thing has been happening all year:
“It’s been happening all year, and I’ve been able to keep my cool and try to tell Spo, ‘Let’s not worry about it too much.’ But it is getting to me a little bit because every time I try to defend myself, I got to face the consequences of a flagrant for me or a technical foul, whatever the case may be. 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. I play with a lot of aggression, and I understand that some of the plays are on the borderline of a basketball play or not, but sometimes you just got to … I don’t know. It’s frustrating.”
After the result of the game and how much it gets under his skin, is there any doubt that teams will try to amp up the physical play against Miami for the rest of the season, especially in the playoffs? And can we please see a Heat/Bulls playoff series? It would be the closest thing to Michael Jordan vs. The Detroit Pistons “Bad Boy” squads we’ve ever seen.
Did you think that the Bulls’ fouls on James crossed the line last night?
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