When the Chicago Bulls stopped the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak last week, LeBron James complained about hard fouls. Danny Ainge told him to shut up and stop acting like a giant baby, or something like that. Pat Riley told Danny Ainge to “shut the fuck up.” Everyone was yelling.
LeBron James, the original complainant, was complaining about two non-calls. First, the Kirk Hinrich tackle, in which he wrapped up an oncoming LeBron on the fast break and form tackled him to the ground. There was no flagrant foul call.
The next was a play from the fourth quarter, when Taj Gibson clotheslined LeBron’s neck. Again, no flagrant.
This is fine, in our judgment. Sure, they were hard fouls, but nothing horrible. Nothing he couldn’t get back up from. Seriously, guy. Kirk Hinrich. He weights 165 pounds, max. And Taj Gibson got more of your shoulder, anyway.
But the NBA heard LeBron’s sore-losering and bit the bullet: almost a week after the game, the league decided that yes, there was a flagrant foul to be assessed. On this play:
Wait, what? That’s not one of the plays LeBron complained about. That’s a random play from the first quarter when Taj Gibson whacked LeBron’s head instead of the ball. And not even that hard, either. If that’s a flagrant foul, then the two plays LeBron moaned about are worthy of league bans. This concludes today’s episode of arbitrary David Stern commissioner-ing.