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LeBron, Heat shrug at reaction to physical play complaints

Mar 29, 2013, 4:10 PM EDT

Miami Heat's LeBron James reacts after being fouled during the Heats NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland Reuters

LeBron James’ timing was poor.

His complaint that teams are overly physical in their fouls on him is not wildly out of line — LeBron is incredibly strong and if you are trying to foul him across the arms to take away the easy bucket you better be strong too or LeBron will have an and-1. He takes a lot of hard fouls and some of those cross the line into risking potentially more serious injuries.

But a lot of the reaction to LeBron’s comments was basically “quit your belly aching.” The Bulls were physical with him and the Heat — and the Bulls won the game. The timing of his complaint had a sour grapes taste.

When asked about it Thursday, LeBron basically shrugged, as reported by Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.

“As a kid,” he said, “I used to watch a lot of Lakers games and I used to see Shaq get hammered and he would get two free throws and then he would finally deliver a blow and it would be a technical foul, it would be a flagrant foul. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it before. We’re not ones to complain, but I just brought it to light.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said nothing is changing with how the Heat play.

“We’re well aware of what everybody’s game plan is against us, and that’s to prevent layups and dunks and highlight plays at all costs,” Spoelstra said. “A lot of times those result in hard fouls. We’ll have our guys’ backs, but we don’t need anybody’s help and we’re not afraid of anybody’s game plan against us.

“We’re going to continue to play our aggressive game and we know how teams will play against us. We’ll have our teammates’ protection. But we won’t do anything out of the norm with basketball rules, and our guys will continue to attack.”

This is really an issue for the league to deal with — if they want less physical play they can get it by how the rules are enforced. They did that once to put an end to the 1990s clutch-and-grab era, they can move that needle again. The League has to act because the players will push the boundaries of what they can get away with to their advantage — that includes LeBron lowering his shoulder and bullying his way to the basket and the defender being more physical right back.

  1. Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    “We’re not ones to complain, but…[insert whining and complaining in here]”

    – every member of the Miami Heat organization

    What do you guys think that you are just ordained to win every game and when you don’t it is because of fouls not called? I see…so just THIS GAME you didn’t get the calls, but the last 27 games, the fouls were called properly?

    LeBron just STFU and play ball. Just when I was beginning to like you, this type of crap happens when you lose one stinking game.

    • packfaninvikeland - Mar 29, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      I dont like Lebron, but I want you to go back and tell me the last time Lebron complained about rough play……….oo dont worry ill wait……google not treating you well huh? idiot fans getting on Lebron for the ONE time he talks about being roughed up, you people want to get on him. Give me more evidence sheep? or stop posting… keep googling and searching..

      • Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:59 AM

        Dude, are you serious? You don’t see the idiocy of complaining about being “roughed up” after your team just lost it’s first game in the last 27???? If you don’t see just how STUPID LeBron sounded, and believe me, even the most ardent of LeBron supporters felt like he sounded like a baby, then you are just being stubborn. You can’t complain about not getting calls after you just won 27 games in a row and not sound like a whining crybaby. Period.

    • andrewproughcfe - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:31 AM

      If Lebron doesn’t think he’s getting multiple hard, 2-handed fouls per night when the playoffs roll around, he’s nuts. Either get used to it or go home early big guy.

      You can bet that Popovich would love to take another crack at James in the finals. With Stephen Jackson, DeJuan Blair, Boris Diaw and crew, Pop has plenty of big, nasty players that would be more than happy to make James pay for playing near the basket.

  2. 4thquartermagic - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    Nuggets can survive round 1 without Ty (their best player) but we need him back for round 2.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      LeBron should start distributing some hard fouls too.
      Knick fan.

      • leahcima1 - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        Naw. He’ll have his revenge when he raises the trophy again this year.

  3. mungman69 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    How can Milwaukee play so bad in one game and so well in the next?

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      Milwaukee hasn’t been good since Lew Alcindor left town.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        They had some pretty good teams with Glen Big Dog Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassel, Tim Thomas and a young Michael Redd. Not to mention one of my favorite nicknames, Ervin “Not Magic” Johnson. That team probably should have gone to the NBA Finals if not for Allen Iverson.

  4. wgray981 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Who cares. LeBron ruined the league by quitting in Cleveland then joining the Heat. I hope his spine snaps and he never plays another game.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM


      Right now, go to and read Bill Simmons’ article “The Heat in Hindsight” .

      Nobody hated, ridiculed, doubted the Heat and LeBron more than our good friend The Sports Guy. As you’ll read, he still hates the Heat.

      But dammit if he didn’t write the freaking truth today.

      A Hall of Fame Column.

      Better than when he assigned Pearl Jam lyrics to the storylines of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. Better than the 1984 column. Better than Vegas Diaries. Better than NBA Draft diaries when he tries to figure out if the woman next to the draftee is the mom/girlfriend/grandma/or Auntie.

      Go aheadf and read it CB13/Sublimeday/Mr. Wright/Paulie/Tampajoey, and all the rest of you. You’ll learn something.

      • scalfor3 - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:55 AM

        Pearl jam sucks and so does Bill Simmons

      • tuberippin - Mar 30, 2013 at 4:02 AM

        Bill Simmons does suck, but Pearl Jam is an amazing band.

    • cantonbound13 - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      Kind of harsh.

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      he ruined the league, that is ridiculous and snap his spine?
      you need anger management.

  5. wgray981 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    jk about his spine snapping..but honestly he is a total loser

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      wrong, he’s winninggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

    • leahcima1 - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Sorry wgay981 you are the loser. He hoisted the championship trophy. What did you hoist?

      • lucky5936 - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        There is more than one platform for being classified a winner. On the court, Lebron is a winner. Off the court, he is a whiny, spoiled, loser.

  6. cantonbound13 - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Who’s got LeBaby’s back, a 95 year old Howard? Get back on the bench old man or I’ll break your hip.

  7. rickyspanish - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM


    You scored points. I know how much you hate Miami but your not completely devoid of class. You rail on everything Heat but not like that. Now, back to you making INS jokes about me.

  8. trueballs - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    I can only wonder what the reaction will be to LeBron’s reaction to Ainge/Gibson’s reaction to LeBron’s reaction to the Bulls’ physical play

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      the reaction will be dissatisfaction.

    • pantsfreezone - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      Pat Riley said it best when he told Ainge to “Shut the f— up and manage his own team.”

      Good advice seeing as how Ainge’s team is complete crap at the moment.

  9. patfic15 - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Hold on guys. Getting some tissue and depends. If Rose comes back…y’all are out.

  10. monsterofyourgirlsmidway - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    I can’t stand watching the Miami Heat play. lebron and everyone else on that rigged team cry at every call, even when it goes their way. lebron can’t compare himself to Shaq. Shaq handled his business like a man, without complaining to the media after every game. what a joke…

    • hqdeezy - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:46 PM


    • hqdeezy - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Someone needs to pull Bron’s wig further back. Maybe to the back of his neck. How does that sound?

  11. somekat - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    When you can no longer back a guy down in the post (aka, knock a guy off his spot multiple times), they can start complaining about what defenders can get away with. Until then, stop crying

  12. bballhistorian - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Kurt, Saying LeBron cant “bully” his way to the basket is like saying MJ couldnt use is “other-hand” to push off defenders when driving to the basket.


    • Kurt Helin - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      I’m not saying he can’t, I’m saying if the league wants to crack down it has to go both ways.

  13. asublimeday - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    It’s the roids. He cried shortly after. Then screamed. Then punched a wall. Then cried again.

  14. its50 - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    but i thought he was a physical specimen? i didn’t know physical specimens complain

  15. jcmeyer10 - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    LeBron loses all credibility when he can go through more than one game without being called for a foul.

  16. jollyjoker2 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    what an overpaid WUS. He should be lucky he didn’t play in the 80’s or even the early 90’s. Back then, they would have broke his legs. In fact, I would hit him twice as hard now that he is whining.

    • gmsingh - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:15 PM

      I would pay good money to hear a reporter ask him, “Hey Lebron, why all the ‘roid rage?”

      • trueballs - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        you’re so insecure.

  17. glink123 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Bulls vs. Heat was easily one of the most entertaining regular season games in the NBA this entire season. LeBron is a once-in-a-generation physical specimen. He literally has an advantage at all 5 positions, every night, against every team. You think players like taking a charge from that dude? Nobody willingly does that, without serious anxiety. Bulls vs. Heat is must-see TV, and the league knows it. As long as nobody cuts out legs or throws elbows or punches, I consider both sides to be clean.

  18. spavs412 - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I see what’s he’s saying but I hate that the man makes one comment and he’s complaining lol just don’t speak to any reporters bron and you’ll be fine

  19. gmsingh - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    During the Bulls game Stacey King said LeBron hadn’t had a flagrant called against him since 2007. If he thinks he’s getting retaliated against by having flagrants called against him he’s either stupid or a liar. Or both.

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