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Video: LeBron helps sell flagrant foul on Tyson Chandler

Apr 29, 2012, 8:29 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

That is a foul. A hard playoff foul. Tyson Chandler leans in and sets a moving screen into LeBron James‘ back.

But apparently LeBron has been spending more time with the players in Liverpool than we thought, because he sells that like a soccer flop. It was initially called a Flagrant 2 (with automatic ejection), was downgraded to a Flagrant 1 and if it got downgraded again I would not be shocked.

This was the black mark on an otherwise spectacular game from LeBron, he was a force of nature that led the Heat to a blowout win over the Knicks. That kind of win that makes you wonder if the Knicks can win more than one game.

But this call helped, and there were others like it as the refs did not love the Knicks Saturday. But that is not why the Knicks lost.

  1. abchome - Apr 29, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Flop of the Night!

  2. nokoolaidcowboy - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Daaaaaamn Lebron! Yo mama took a harder shot from what’s his name! lol

    Gotta love slo mo replay. James is just being James.

  3. rayburns - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    With the Metta World Peace incident fresh in the minds of the league and the refs, LeBron sold this perfectly. Grabbing the back of his head, even though the foul took place about mid-shoulder, and flopping to the floor like he had just been tased, would certainly guarantee reaction from the officials.

    I just hope that this is a one-time incident and that, after being ridiculed by sportswriters and other players for the acting job, that he stays away from this kind of drama. LeBron has made enough enemies in the league (and in the media) that he doesn’t need to add ammunition…

  4. football58 - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Man, every time I want to root for James he does something like this. You would have thought he got shot in the back. And then his flopping after someone breathes on him throughout the game, just makes the NBA a sick product to watch.

  5. mornelithe - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I’ve been hit harder in the face with a fist, and not flopped around on the ground like that. What a pussy.

  6. clifford84 - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    That wasn’t the sole “black mark” on Lebron’s game. He had an even worse flop two minutes earlier, flailing out of bounds like he’d been shot to draw a foul on JR Smith, who happened to be standing there. And not long after the Chandler incident, Melo put an arm into him when posting up and LBJ fell to his hands and knees like he’d been sucker punched, AGAIN getting the whistle.

    There was a point in this game when the FT differential was 33 to 7. I mean, come on.

    • zblott - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      Totally agreed that this was by no means the sole BS call LeBron’s flopping earned. Sure this play wasn’t the reason the Knicks lost, but a whole series of questionable and blatantly one-sided calls/non-calls in the 2nd quarter completely wrecked their spirits, so we never found out how this game would have gone if all this crap didn’t happen because NY was emotionally over by halftime.

      I think we all agree that Miami probably would have won the game and series anyway, but it’s a shame to see this type of crap totally taking one team out of it so that they no longer even believed they stood a chance this early in the game.

      • clifford84 - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        In the context of the whole series, I agree, Miami is the consistently better team and would (will) likely win.

        Yeah, I do think the absurd 2nd quarter basically dictated the outcome of this game, though. It was close throughout the 1st and just became a joke in the 2nd. The FT differential in that quarter was 20-1 and almost every significant player on the Knicks had 3+ fouls by halftime. Game over.

  7. svupper - Apr 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Im against the NBA tightning all the rules all the time, and I find myself bitching about how bad the officiels are almost every game.. but this is exactly why its such a hard job to officiate in the NBA..

    BS like this shouldnt be part of the game, it should be punished with and automatic 1 game suspension, no matter who does it..

    This is the NBA, not soccer, where its all about the acting.. Just play basketball as it was supposed to be played and stop all the god damn flops!

    • football58 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      I agree 100%, you flop, you get suspended one game. That will put an end to this crap.

      • zblott - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        The NBA won’t do anything about flopping simply because so much of it is done by their stars who have been allowed to and learned to earn calls so easily.

      • mornelithe - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        @ Zblott: I think there’s another more litigious reason there also, the same reason why they won’t do anything about it in the NFL either (When no-huddle offenses start rollin’, Defensive lines start dropping). What if it IS an actual injury? And how can you prove it on the field, immediately? All it would take is 1 inaccurate call, and the NBA could face a severe lawsuit, not to mention a hit on it’s image. Suspending a player for (insert injury here).

        It’d be great, really great, if they could figure something out, but I just don’t see how that’s an easy call to make.

      • zblott - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        @mornelithe I don’t think football58 is advocating giving out suspensions in-game. It would be VERY easy for the league to review possible flops each night and hand out punishments (suspensions) within 24 hours. Just like fines and flagrants given out after the fact, this would work to lessen what’s now become a humongous problem in the NBA.

        But again, the league doesn’t want to suspend its stars who double as the worst floppers — very similar to the big stand the league took two offseasons ago with regards to giving automatic technicals for showing up the refs. Unsurprisingly, the stars were the biggest offenders and now we don’t really hear anything about it as we continue to watch players mouth off after each call.

      • mornelithe - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        @Zblott: Well, that’s definitely a possibility, the only thing that gives me pause is…how does that cure the injustice of that particular game? That’d be my only concern with this particular idea. Because you could conceivably be ok with taking a suspension for a game, if it means getting rid of a star player for one that is really important, know what I mean?

        For example, say it’s Game 7, with everything on the line, and this happens. Given Miami’s talent, they could afford to throw away a game 1, in order to change the balance in a far far more important game. I’d say the suspensions should start at 2 games, to make sure that no one is attempting to play the odds like that. Or, simply make it completely unthinkable and make it a series suspension/7 game (In case the foul happens in a game 7).

        But you’re right, the league would never do that to it’s Stars.

      • zblott - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        @mornelithe I know what you mean about the Game 7 “loophole” that would exist, but if I have to choose between letting this crap that’s killing the game continue and doing anything else that might cut down on a majority of the flops, I’ll go with doing something.

  8. fhuizar - Apr 29, 2012 at 10:27 AM


  9. mat9844 - Apr 29, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    No MVP; just an Oscar.

    • truprof - Apr 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Miami is the new Hollywood and Lebron is the new drama queen and Oscar nominee!

  10. odj810 - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    basket ball players… lol

  11. delius1967 - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Yet another reason to dislike him — like we need it. I get hit that hard playing pick-up games in my gym and don’t complain about it. I love how you see the first (real) reaction, followed by a pause, and only then does he throw his arms up in the air and flop to the ground.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:42 PM

      EXACTLY. And there were 14 flops that I saw that benefited them all game. The Knicks’ play was a BYPRODUCT of the officiating, it’s not WHY they lost, but stuff like this takes teams completely out of the game.

      And for people who still think the Heat are better and certainly will win, even without Shump — KNOCK IT OFF.

  12. jimmymarlinsfan - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    As someone who was hit in a screen just like that and had very similar whiplash effect, I can tell you that Lebron probably felt an extreme amount of pain as it just happened and when in the upper shoulder/neck area it can play with your nerves and cause flailing. Now…is that to say the Lebron didn’t play it up a bit after he was hit and got up? Absolutely he did, but I think his initial reaction was not acting

    But I agree with the other poster that after the Mettaworldpeace fiasco, the league was looking for a reason and Chandler should have known better than to hit anyone remotely high like that.

  13. southbeachtalent - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Heat 1 Knicks 0

  14. lyndseymarieee - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Harden took a legit elbow to the head and didn’t go down that hard. get that sand out of your vagina, lebron.

  15. redbullenergydrink - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    If this was Lebron’s biggest problem of the night, I’d say he’s in pretty good shape.

  16. slippyal2 - Apr 29, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Black mark my ass, he got two free throws and the ball.

  17. BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    I’d pay $100 to have seen LeBron do that on the playground growing up. Of course, he wasn’t man enough for Akron City Series ball, so par for the course, I guess.

    • cullenand99 - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      Still bitter I see?

      • BrownsTown (the 1st one, not the new guy using my name) - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:06 PM

        Being offended by flopping transcends rooting interests. We made fun of him when he was in CLE and we do the same with Varejao. Stop looking at the world in neat little black and white boxes.

        I’m also from Akron, so I can make fun of him on a lot of levels. Sorry that it offends the Superfans out there. Collateral damage.

  18. dysraw1 - Apr 29, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    regardless of the refs the knicks have got to play better, the 1 thing the refs cant mess with is who puts the ball in the whole more

  19. deiong - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    this is why lebron will never be listed as one of the greats, he just doesnt have the heart, courage, pride to fight the honest fight, maybe because he realised he is not good enough to make everyone else around him better, the true mark of a great player. hes never made anyone else better.. sad is he has such huge talent, now we have to endure all the fake calls, where the replay will show that players never came a foot from him, and
    sterns and the refs will once again try to get lebron his trophy..

    so hes gonna cry wolf,

    if he fought the honest fight and tried to be the honest , hed have some respect, but as for know

    hes that selfsih snotty nosed kid on the court who cries for any and everything.. sad thing is papa stern is cuddeling him, instead of spanking him. so what will he learn, cry longer and harder….

    hears hoping the nba wakes up and stopes the whole crybaby sendrome of stars and they actually become stars instead of spoiled rotten brats.

    not likely in the corrupted stern administration. but i hear he’s leaving soon…

  20. sweetnlow44 - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    Crawford is the worst ref in all of basketball. Why the NBA hangs on to these senile, utterly pathetic refs is baffling. Wouldn’t surprise me if Crawford is just as crooked as Donaghy.

  21. trbox - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Wow. Being primarily a soccer fan, I really envy you guys’ response to this situation. I mean, this happens SO many times during a soccer game it’s ridiculous. It’s gotten to the point where I actually can’t see what you guys are crying about, after James’ “flop”. But of course, everyone loves to hate LeBron, so that’s adding to it.

  22. sbellare3 - Apr 30, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    Flops like that should get a flagrant. This is embarrassing to the sport

  23. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 30, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    It was DAN Crawford, not JOE Crawford, though.

    Joe Crawford officiated the Flop City Slippers vs. Knicks Wednesday night and didn’t give them a SINGLE flop call (and Ginger, Pauline and Young were flopping ALL night).

    The picture is misleading. Joe Crawford is still one of the best, it’s Dan Crawford who cheats like this, and that was him and Ed Molloy with all the BS calls Saturday, being swayed by the half-empty arena and all.

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