The Los Angeles Lakers are more than halfway through another disappointing season.
After a heartbreaking one-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, superstar LeBron James expressed his frustration with how referees have called several games involving the Lakers this season.
In the final seconds of the Lakers-Sixers game, guard Russell Westbrook attempted to drive to the basket against seven foot center Joel Embiid. Westbrook threw the basketball up out of desperation as time expired, and the Lakers lost 112-113.
After the game, Westbrook mentioned that he believed the referees should have blown the whistle and called a foul on Embiid during the play.
“I couldn’t get my hand up to shoot because [Embiid] was grabbing it,” Westbrook said.
On Monday, a report from the NBA noted that officials were correct by not calling a foul.
“Embiid slightly extends his arm before retracting it and marginal arm contact occurs with Westbrook during the driving shot attempt,” the league’s Last Two Minute Report explained.
But James seemed to take exception to the league’s determination, and the four-time NBA champion took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.
He responded to a tweet that called attention to the ending of two recent Lakers games, in which no-calls became deciding factors in each game.
“And all year they keep telling me to my face on the court, ‘I didn’t see it’ or ‘It wasn’t a foul,'” James wrote. “It’s not making sense to me seriously! Frustrating as hell man! Anyways keep going Squad!”
Other Twitter users decided to post different videos and screenshots of the final possession to highlight Emiid grabbing Westbrook’s wrist as he drove toward the basket.
The Lakers-Sixers matchup was the second straight game that had a controversial ending, in which officiating was the main storyline.
The Lakers’ game against the Dallas Mavericks went into double overtime on Friday. The game was not decided in regulation because Troy Brown Jr.’s three-point shot attempt with under three seconds remaining was blocked by Tim Hardaway Jr.
Hardaway did appear to make contact with Brown’s hand, causing him to fall to the floor. James immediately protested the no-call. The Lakers went in the extra periods.
A Last Two Minute Report following the Lakers-Mavericks game revealed that the referees did miss a foul call at the end of the first overtime, as James tried to make what would have been the game’s winning basket.