During the second quarter, LeBron James brought the ball across half-court, picked it up, took a couple steps, possibly touched the ball with his other hand, and continued right along as if nothing happened. Nothing was called.
James was asked about the play after the game and, in typical LeBron-James-has-a-better-memory-than-us fashion, he explained how things went down (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“Yeah it was the worst thing ever. Probably one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my career. I didn’t even realize I did it until halftime, to be honest. One of my coaches showed me. I didn’t even realize I did it.
“I think at the same time, I was watching the underneath play, and KCP and Donovan got into it. KCP started to run and Donovan bumped into him and he fell on the ground. I think I was ready to pass the ball and my brain kind of just… I just had a malfunction. My brain just had a malfunction.
“I felt bad for the refs on that one because they probably get a write-up on that one. That was pretty bad.”
The Jazz announcers calling the game might disagree with this being the worst thing that happened in the game, but they don’t really matter, so let’s just move on.
I would pay quite a bit of money to have been able to be there when whichever coach pointed out the play to James had the opportunity to do so. Given the way things were going in the game as they headed to halftime, it had to have been a pretty lighthearted moment.
One nice thing about the Lakers winning as much as they have this season has been how much more open players are for a little comedic relief after games. Had the Lakers lost and a reporter asked about the play, James probably wouldn’t have been as forthright about it — and it’s highly doubtful the question gets asked at all.
But, as things turned out, the Lakers enjoyed a nice little beatdown of the Jazz in Utah and then got to continue themselves late into the fourth quarter and after the game.