The Los Angeles Lakers were left feeling cheated after a missed call cost them a victory against the Boston Celtics in overtime on Saturday.
In the final play of the fourth quarter, LeBron James was slapped on the arm by Jayson Tatum as he drove to the basket, but the referees failed to call a foul.
James expressed his frustration after the game, saying that similar incidents have been happening to the Lakers all season. He also said that he does not know how the NBA can fix bad officiating, but stated that the team has no room for error.
"It's been building, I mean you guys have seen some of the games we have lost this year with late-game miscalls." @KingJames talks about his frustration with officiating for the #Lakers and more pic.twitter.com/QbJYj8516p
— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 29, 2023
Anthony Davis echoed James’ sentiments, saying “It’s bulls**t. At the end of the day, it’s unacceptable and I guarantee nothing is gonna happen to the refs. We got cheated tonight.”
Anthony Davis on the final possession: “It’s bullshit. It’s unacceptable. … We got cheated tonight.” pic.twitter.com/etu283iMAu
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) January 29, 2023
A pool report on the final seconds of regulation later confirmed that James had indeed been fouled by Tatum. Crew Chief Eric Lewis explained that they did not see the contact in real time, but admitted there was a missed foul call on James, further fueling Davis’ feeling of being “cheated.”
Poor officiating continues in NBA
On top of the missed call, the Lakers were also frustrated by a technical foul given to Patrick Beverley when he showed the referee a picture of the foul on a camera. The NBA official later explained that Beverley should have shown the picture to the Crew Chief or a Video Review Official instead.
The Lakers’ loss to the Celtics highlights the ongoing issue of bad officiating in the NBA. While the league may have acknowledged the missed call, it does little to ease the frustration and disappointment of the Lakers and their fans.
It is clear that the NBA needs to take a closer look at its officiating process and make necessary changes to ensure fair and just outcomes for all teams.