In the tightly contested Lakers vs. Heat matchup, there was some, let’s say, interesting officiating in the second half. We had a Darvin Ham technical foul, a D’Angelo Russell ejection, and a LeBron James delay-of-game technical, all coming in a game decided by one point.
It was enough of a point of contention that the Lakers reportedly contacted the league about the calls they felt were missed by officials in the game, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers contacted the NBA league office Tuesday about what they view as numerous missed foul calls in Monday’s 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat, sources told ESPN.
The Lakers’ main point of contention is how LeBron James was officiated, according to sources. The Lakers shared various clips showing what they believe to be clear illegal contact by Heat defenders against James that went unnoticed by the referees.
After Monday’s game, head coach Darvin Ham was careful to ask for an understanding of the decisions by the officials without saying anything that could get him fined.
“I think just the perspective of inconsistency,” Ham said after the defeat. “Even when I got hit with my technical foul, normally – I’ve been around this league a long time, man…All I want is an explanation sometimes and to not get that for the rest of the game and once I got my technical – Miami plays a physical brand of basketball, but we’re not complaining about how physical they are. We just want balance and consistency. That’s it. And I see Bron shooting four free throws and the amount of times he attacked the rim, the amount of times he was slapped on the arm, which I could see plain as day, for that not to be called man.”
Free throw discrepancy doesn’t always tell the whole story, but with James not seeing the line and a key player being ejected in a game that was decided by one point, it’s understandable for the Lakers to have a raised brow on how things went down during the second half.
Hopefully, by contacting the league’s offices, the Lakers can, at best, get clarity on why certain contact isn’t viewed as a foul or at least acknowledgment of blown calls.
LeBron said postgame the official told him he was T'd up for delay of game for throwing the ball to the sideline.— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) November 7, 2023
You can catch it at the very end of this clip but, uh, he did not throw the ball. pic.twitter.com/xbcEeOIKbZ
“I just need an explanation on certain plays that should have gone the other way or should have not been called,” Ham said. “I don’t think I talked to the crew chief for the rest of the time after I got my technical, which is kind of crazy. But it is what it is.”
The Lakers contacting the league office is a common thing every team does when they want clarity. Los Angeles did so back in the 2020 bubble for James and again in 2021 regarding Anthony Davis’ lack of foul calls.
Lack of communication and understanding in sports, just like in life, can lead to confusion, frustration and unnecessary tension. Hopefully, by getting a response from the league, the Lakers can better understand how James will be officiated moving forward and adjust accordingly.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.