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LeBron picks up a flagrant foul after lowering the shoulder on a Caros Boozer screen (VIDEO)

Mar 28, 2013, 12:34 AM EDT

As an isolated incident, this play where LeBron James decided to intentionally drop his shoulder and plow into a screen-setting Carlos Boozer doesn’t have much meaning.

But given the point of the game when this occurred, and the fact that James was the one initiating the contact, it spoke volumes.

With under four minutes remaining and the Heat’s 27-game winning streak on the verge of being snapped, James delivered a hit on Boozer as he attempted to go through a screen, and was whistled for a flagrant foul.

The flagrant call was excessive, but it could be argued that the officials were simply trying to maintain control of a contentious game, one that the Bulls were leading by eight points at the time. The fact that James was hit hard by Taj Gibson on the previous possession may have factored into the officials’ view of the play, as well.

But regardless of how you view the play and the call from the officials, what was clear was how James became uncharacteristically unhinged at such a crucial point in the game.

LeBron’s stoic demeanor (save for some celebration when things have gone just right) has been a rock the Heat could rely on during that massive 27-game winning streak, and the fact that he let his emotions get the better of him, even just slightly, was a sign that the Bulls were on their way to accomplishing what no one had been able to in the last 56 days.

  1. asublimeday - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    The physical equivalent of “wahhhhhhh”.

    Eat it, Heat.

  2. eventhorizon04 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    So lowering his shoulder into a screen is a flagrant foul, but getting collared or hit in the head by Taj Gibson is not a flagrant foul?

    That’s my issue with this – the refs should either allow physical play or not allow physical play. If LeBron getting hit in the head in the first quarter by Taj Gibson and getting collared around the neck in the 4th quarter also by Gibson aren’t flagrant fouls, that’s fine – then call this a personal foul, like those other fouls.

    That’s what’s most frustrating about NBA referees – sometimes, they change their standards unpredictably within a game.

    • money2long - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      it would have been predictable however if the lesser stars in hinrich and gibson got their fouls called flagrants and lebron’s was let go as a normal foul. then everyone would be saying, the refs are just looking out for the star player. but no, that didn’t happen. and i have no issue with anything

      • gmsingh - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM

        LeBron really didn’t deserve a flagrant on that foul, however, my opinion is that is the cumulative effect of the ten flops by Shane Battier every time Boozer came within a foot of his body. The officials have every right to be pissed because the leading floppers in the NBA–El Heat–just make their job as hard as possibly can be by flopping constantly. And David Stern, as corrupt as he is, won’t do a damned thing. That’s the big picture here.

    • Chace - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:34 AM

      I don’t think the refs every saw Taj accidentally hit him on the head during that particular foul where as you would be blind if you missed the James cheapshot.

    • santiagonfc - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      You sure you weren’t watching a different game?
      Taj Gibson barely had Lebron James on his neck in the 4th & I don’t even recall him hitting James in the head so it must’ve not been to bad of a foul.
      If you watch the replay they show in the game Taj Gibson basically got Lebron on his shoulder because Lebron tried to go under Gibson in that 4th quarter foul so get your facts straight.
      You must just be a Heat fan cause Lebron didn’t just lower his shoulder into Boozer.
      Lebron saw Boozer gave him a hard look & tried to ram Boozer down.
      Which is very poor sportsmanship & such a sore loser.
      Cry baby James just needs to grow a pair & all of his fans need to stop crying with him every time he gets poked for a foul. Go watch the game again cause the hardest foul would have to be when he ran over Hinrich & it wasn’t even that bad Hinrich hit his head on the hardwood & still didn’t complain. Lebron blames the loss on “flagrant fouls” basically then all his fans have to complain about a bunch of crap.

    • passoutblogger - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      I assumed when I saw him do this that they would call a flagrant because it was clearly retaliation, IMO.

  3. dgbk - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    collard is an exaggeration it was a haed foul but not flagrant. james foul was clearly intentional as he allow his emtions get the best of him. he wasnt fighting through a screen he wanted to hit someone back.

    • nesuperfan - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:07 AM

      I am not a basketball fan, but I have been interested in the Heat’s run, and actually rooting for them, so I watched this. I don’t have a horse in this race, but it looked to me like James launched himself. I agree that it had nothing to do with fighting through the screen, and the call was right on.

  4. clevelandschronic2 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Lebron was upset he was fouled a bit too hard so he retaliated by raising his elbow and trying to fight through a screen. It was clearly payback and the tech was warranted in my opinion.

    • loungefly74 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:32 AM

      agree. he was emotional and that play showed it.

    • angulocarlos1 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Says the Cleveland fan lol

  5. clevelandschronic2 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    The ****Flagrant***^ was warranted

  6. savvybynature - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Why did Lebron even do that? Just looked like Boozer was setting a standard screen, a play that happens more than half the time in a half court offensive set in the NBA.

    I mean, it wasn’t really that hard of a hit but it was clearly a blatant cheap shot. I don’t know what these writers are complaining about saying he didn’t deserve it? It could have gone either way but when you lay into a guy for no reason no one should be complaining and coming to your defense if you get whistled for it. As someone who has reffed a few games, I’d probably call a flagrant too simply because that wasn’t even remotely a basketball play.

    • berbes - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      he did it because he is no MJ, nor will he ever be.

      • paleihe - Mar 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        I don’t see what Jordan has to do with this game, or any other game not involving the Bobcats.

  7. Chace - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    No question that was a flagrant. I couldn’t believe the commentary from the broadcasters after it happened.

  8. southpaw77 - Mar 28, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    Do you think LBJ could have survived during Jordan’s era? Imagine if he took the clotheslines, undercuts, and head shots Jordan took vs Detroit and NY… LBJ would lay on the ground and whine. for the physical specimen he is, he sure does cry alot. Does he expect every team to move out the way while he drives a cadillac down the lane.

    • doctordunkenstein - Mar 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      nba is definitely less physical now than in mj’s day, but if you watch the games lbj gets hit in the head more than any other player in the league. during a typical heat game he will get hit in the head at least 2-3 times, because honestly that is the only way to ensure that he doesn’t have a chance at a 3 point play

  9. jhuck92 - Mar 28, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    The refs let superstars like LeBron get away with alot more than they should. But you could definitely see flashes of a less mature, less disciplined LeBron in his eyes. That was the right call to keep the peace

  10. cantonbound13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    Roid rage. LeBaby would be destroyed by the Bad Boy PIston teams. Enough with the Jordan comparisons, LeBaby could have never played in that physical era.

    • angulocarlos1 - Mar 28, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Are you seriously that stupid? Lebron is physically able to play tight end in the NFL, he would be fine in that era of basketball, I swear when ever you get a chance to talk crap about James it never fail.

      • nard100 - May 9, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        Exactly.

  11. thechock305 - Mar 28, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    God, every time I try to read some news on my HEAT, I gotta read this retarded Knix fan CANTON spew verbal diarrhea about the HEAT & mostly LeBron knowing he probably jerks off to his highlights. Please, if you hate him so much, why do you go to all the HEAT articles. You WISH he was on your team. Please go away. You sound like a miserable bitter person. Have a nice day.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      Wahhhhh! Not sure who the bigger babies are, the bandwagon fans or the players. If your going to be arrogant, put your big boy pants on, don’t cry & whine Diva Wade style.

  12. jcmeyer10 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    LeBron shouldn’t complain. If memory serves me right, he didn’t pick up a personal foul until the third quarter.

  13. jets4gold - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    aww James get out played and he has to pout like a 6 year old after his crayons was taken away. I cannot stand this guy. he’s only “humble” when he’s winning which makes me sick. Happy to see h lose!

  14. berbes - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    i’m mostly worried about helin. i’ve read after the game he took off on his bicycle and hasn’t been heard from since…!

  15. jgillmeister - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    The call should not be considered controversial. I watched the game and saw the sequence. It was plain to see that LBJ lost his cool and was retaliating. Call was justified because otherwise, the game would have gotten out of hand.

    If anything, LBJ should be called more frequently. In my opinion, he gets feferred to much to much by the refs. They should be calling him tighter.

  16. themars211 - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    The player that gets fouled hard the most in the NBA with the referee not making the call is Kobe Bryant. I know you guys are going to give it a thumbs down but its true……..I think his history of having a contentious relationship with the refs have caught up with him.

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