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Bulls’ hard foul on LeBron upgraded to a flagrant

Mar 31, 2013, 12:34 PM EDT

Miami Heat's James holds his face after a play as Chicago Bulls' Boozer looks on, during their NBA basketball game in Chicago

After the Bulls snapped the Heat’s 27-game winning streak, LeBron James wasn’t pleased with the physical way that Chicago played him defensively, and lamented the lack of flagrant fouls called on two specific plays.

Those comments apparently made their way to the league office, where at least one play from that game was reviewed, and it was decided to be worthy of a retroactive upgrade to a flagrant one foul.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

The NBA confirmed to the Sun Sentinel on Saturday that one of the hard fouls during Wednesday’s Miami Heat loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center has been upgraded to a flagrant foul.

The play in question, a shooting foul on Chicago power forward Taj Gibson against James, came with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter …

The foul that was upgraded came on a baseline drive from James, and after he went up for a shot on the other side of the rim, Gibson swung his right arm, presumably to attempt to block the shot, but caught James squarely in the head instead.

The two plays James was referring to, however, including this takedown from behind by Gibson which appears to be worse than the one upgraded, remained regular personal fouls.

It’s clear the league wanted to take James’ comments seriously, because it can’t have its best player simply butchered throughout the course of the game, only to have it written off as good, physical defensive play. It’ll be interesting to see what effect, if any, James’ comments end up having on the way he and the Heat are officiated throughout the postseason.

  1. deiong - Mar 31, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Stern cant leave without putting his mark on basketball. no matter how ugly dirty that mark is..

  2. hannsta - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Hate to say it but I bet half the commenters are Lakers fans who say “damn right” when this happens for Kobe. The league should not be rescinding calls, no matter who the star.

    • themars211 - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      First off if you watch any Lakers games you would see that Kobe gets fouled continuously without any help from the refs. Supposedly its because he complained to the refs so much over his career….smh. Secondly why are you worried about Lakers fans? You people always complain about Lakers having so many articles but you invite them….lmao.

  3. stayhigh_247 - Mar 31, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    pathetic absolutely pathetic. crybaby ass dude!

  4. seabass321 - Mar 31, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Let me preface my comments with idk what the league is hoping to accomplish by changing the call to flagrant. The only difference that would’ve been made DURING the game; all this does is open the door for the league and Lebron to catch a lot of flak. With that being said, the Hinrich foul was a good basketball play but the Taj Gibson foul was definitely flagrant. Not only did he smack him on the head, but he wrapped his arm around his neck while he was going up and almost caused him to land with his knees pinned underneath his body. I bet most of the flamers here would have nothing to say if Lebron had tore an ACL landing like that. Lol, I love how everyone’s reaction to LeBron’s “whining” is to whine about it themselves.

  5. bigwii - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Anyone who denies there’s something really fishy going on is blind or doesn’t watch close enough. Why is it that all these coincidences keep happening.

    And why is it LeBron can do all these things other players get punished for and nothing happens to him. Why is there tons of video where he gets away with travels, charges, and complaining at refs with no punishment.

    Why does the Heat get outplayed for 3 quarters on some nights and then all if a sudden whistles start blowing like crazy and they magically come back with free throws and no calls that always go against the other team.

    That’s just the beginning its not just the heat it happens with all these superstar teams. Stern basically turned the game into a mix of the WWE and the Real World with all the drama if we didn’t love basketball do much it would be unwatchable.

  6. nanrad - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I don’t hate LBJ the person, but I do hate LBJ the player. How can someone who physically plays his opponents as in overpower them, commits flagrant fouls himself that aren’t called, plays with a Wade who is a dirty player himself, among many other things complain about calls??? The only reason he is upset is because he lost. LBJ wouldn’t have said not a thing about how he was played IF he won. But, since he lost he goes crying on TV and the league changes the call. My issue isn’t necessarily because the call was changed, but the fact that I don’t think it would have happened if the script was flipped. Also, LBJ would have taken shots or tried to play it off if the reverse was true. But, since LBJ cries, they have to soothe him and do what he wants. I don’t see calls being changed when Bulls players claim that they have been flagrantly fouled or when Thibs says something–oh, and they have said something about blown flagrant fouls. Where are the changed calls? What happened to the flagrant last year when LBJ set that illegal pick on JL3??? He wasn’t complaining then and that was because he was the one dishing it out, but he can’t take it. LBJ can bowl over players as if they are nothing, but can’t take the same contact in return. This is why I can’t respect no matter how talent he is. His behavior and the fact that the league allows it, sickens me. This is why he will never be better Jordan in my book: if someone played Jordan overly rough, he made them pay for it. Actually, anything could set him off, but you never game him a reason. LBJ doesn’t have that fire in him, so he complains rather than make them pay by dominating them.

  7. manchestermiracle - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Rather ironic that this complaining is coming from the guy who went two weeks without getting a single foul called on him.

  8. galaragabigcat - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    LeCryBaby…the NBA is getting ridiculous! In the 80’s and 90’s that’s how all the players played! And remember how hard Shaq got fouled and now Dwight Howard. They do it to make sure the easy shot is not made and the player is forced to make the foul shot. Why should LeBron be different? He is such a cry baby and the league caters to his every whim. It is so sickening how Stern sucks up to LeBron. The NBA has become a joke!

    • nlruizjr - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:27 AM

      Wlhy is it that Kobe gets beat up every game (get’s fouled 2-4 times driving to the basket) and the stupid refs are standing right in plain view and does not call 1 single foul and LJ cries about 1 foul and the Commissioner has to take a look at it ????????

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