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LeBron James Criticizes NBA Officiating

LeBron James openly criticized NBA officiating following the Cleveland Cavaliers 110 – 94 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

James, in spite of finishing with 33 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, vented his frustration after the game. He claimed that the NBA referees favor outside shooters over players who drive to the basket.

Via ESPN, LeBron James said:

“We’re at a point now where we protect the shooter more than the driver. There’s no reason I should be going to the line four times in a game when I drive 100 times to the paint and I’m getting hit and slapped and grabbed and whatever and whatnot. We protect the shooter. That’s what it’s turned into. ‘Chicks dig the long ball,’ and that’s what it’s about.”

James had 12 direct drives against San Antonio, none of which resulted in a foul. His direct drive total was higher than his free throws total for the 10th time this season.


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Before the Spurs game, James was averaging 11.3 drives. He was also attempting just 6.0 free throws per game, which is his lowest average since his rookie season (5.8). Last season, LeBron James was averaging 7.2 free throws per game.

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson speculated that James’ physical presence could be a factor in him not winning fouls.

“I mean, he attacks the rim a lot, so it’s up to the ref. It’s on them to make the calls. I think, with him being so strong and athletic, just because he’s bigger and stronger than everyone, doesn’t mean it (should not be) a foul. I think he gets fouled more than anyone in this league, and he gets hit, but people kind of take advantage of the fact that he’s 280 (pounds) and he’s a freight train. But if a guy gets hit, you got to call the foul. But that’s just my personal opinion.”

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