Updated:Jan 30, 2023 5:25 pm
LA Lakers accuse NBA of cheating after referee error sees LeBron James devastated
The official National Basketball Referees Association’s Twitter account admitted to making a ‘gut-wrenching’ error, leaving LeBron James distraught at the end of regulation.
The LA Lakers would go on to suffer a 125-121 overtime loss on Saturday night and had the correct decision been made, the Lakers would have likely won in normal regulation.
Jayson Tatum would make contact with James’ left arm which effectively saw the 38-year-old miss what would have been the game-winning layup.
A furious James shouted at the officials, tapped his arm to indicate there was contact, bounced around and when no foul was called, he fell to the floor in disbelief.
The 2020 NBA Champion made clear his frustration in the post-game interview.
“We don’t have room for error,” James said to reporters before listing several recent late-game calls that he felt had gone against the Lakers. “This is one of the best games we’ve played all year, and for this to fall on somebody else’s judgment or non-judgment is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.
“[My frustration] has been building. You guys have seen some of the games that we’ve lost this year with late-game missed calls. We had an opportunity to win the game. … I watch these games every single day, and I don’t see it happening to nobody else. It’s just weird.”
🤦🏾♂️!!! I don’t understand. I truly don’t https://t.co/XgVDGRZ5Wa— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 29, 2023
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis claimed the officiating was “bulls—.”
Referee Eric Lewis acknowledged that officiating crew had made a mistake.
“There was contact,” Lewis said. “At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul. The crew missed the play.”
While the official statement from the NBRA read: “Like everyone else, referees make mistakes,” the statement read. “We made one at the end of last night’s game and that is gut-wrenching for us. This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be.”
Like everyone else, referees make mistakes. We made one at the end of last night’s game and that is gut-wrenching for us. This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be.https://t.co/WyN8QVuTOl— NBA Referees (@OfficialNBARefs) January 29, 2023
Patrick Beverly at the end of regulation presented a camera to Lewis to demonstrate there had been a foul and received a technical foul for ‘inappropriate behaviour in addressing resentment to a non-call