May 30, 2013, 7:59 PM EDT
There has been plenty of talk about the officiating leading up to Game 5 between the Heat and the Pacers. This will be the last word on it in terms of the fallout from Game 4, where LeBron James was whistled for a sixth foul in the closing seconds that resulted in his disqualification.
The league has reviewed the play, which clearly shows Lance Stephenson tripping over LeBron’s foot as he tries to fight through a screen.
James said he didn’t agree with the call, and Stan Van Gundy similarly said it shouldn’t have been enough to warrant a whistle that would send the Heat’s best player to the bench for good with six personal fouls.
The league came down on it differently, however, and confirmed that the correct call was made.
In the scrutiny over the flopping and officiating in Game 4, the NBA said nothing publicly about the sixth foul on James because the league — specifically executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson and his staff — think it was the right call.
Jackson’s staff reviewed the play several times and zeroed in on video which shows James sticking out his foot, stepping on Stephenson’s foot, tripping Stephenson and impeding his ability to defend. Regardless of intent, the league thinks the right call was made.
James was done talking about it, and told reporters as much before Thursday night’s matchup. We’re done with it now, too — until a whole new set of questionable calls presents itself in Game 5.
- Report: Anthony Bennett pulled from pro-am by agent, possibly due to his inclusion in Kevin Love trade talks 32
- Report: Sixers fighting against immediate changes to NBA Draft Lottery system 44
- Team USA going small ball, but how many bigs do they keep on the bench? 4
- Report: LeBron James more popular than he ever was with the Heat 14
- Durant says 2014 USA team better than 2010 version that won gold 6
- Kevin Durant knows you’re talking about his free agency but isn’t giving many clues. He liked what LeBron did. 16
- Byron Scott makes ridiculous optimism sound reasonable 44
- Derrick Rose told Carmelo Anthony that if he came to Chicago “the game would be easy” 42