Future NBA Hall of Fame member LeBron James went ballistic on the referees after a controversial call at the end of the Lakers’ 108-106 loss to the Timberwolves on Saturday night.
In the final seconds of the contest, James hit what would have been a game-tying three-pointer, but it was ultimately ruled as a two-pointer after referee Tony Brothers determined that James’ toe was on the three-point line.
The shot would have tied the game at 107 with 2.3 seconds remaining if the call stood as a three-pointer. Referees reviewed the play during a subsequent timeout, however, causing James to lose his mind when the officiating crew did not see what he was seeing.
James stormed over to the monitor and began pleading with the referees while angrily pointing to the monitor. “That’s bull**it!” the NBA star repeatedly yelled. His pleading ultimately proved unsuccessful, however, as the call was upheld.
The viral moment immediately led to memes, with one X user comparing James to another controversial call in Saturday night’s NFL match-up between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.
— garypaintin (@garypaintin20) December 31, 2023
James continued to fume over the controversial decision in the team’s post-game press conference.
“What the hell do we got replay for?” James told reporters. “What do we have replay for if even the replay gets it wrong? It’s just like, who is a part of the replay center? Like, do we got robots in there making Teslas? Like, what’s going on?”
“I mean, it’s obvious it’s a three. My foot was behind the line. You can see the space between the front of my foot and the 3-point line. You can clearly see the wood on the floor, the space in between the front of my foot and the 3-point line. Stevie Wonder can see that, champ.”
Crew chief Tony Brothers explained his decision after the game.
“The play was ruled a 2-point field goal on the floor during live play,” Brothers told a reporter. “After video review, there wasn’t clear and conclusive evidence to overturn it from a 2 to a 3, and that’s why it stood as a 2-point field goal.”