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NBA stands behind no foul on Mason Plumlee’s block of LeBron James

Apr 11, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

Mason Plumlee blocked LeBron James at the buzzer Tuesday, giving the Nets a win over the Heat.

On replays it seems Plumlee touched the ball before touching LeBron. I think. Even in slow motion, it’s difficult to tell.

LeBron certainly wanted the benefit of the doubt, but didn’t get it – and he won’t get it from the NBA in the form of an admission of a wrong call.

Adi Joseph of USA Today:

I’m all for transparency, and I guess it’s to the NBA’s credit I find Thorn’s statement unnecessary. I just assume the league will acknowledge all missed pivotal calls and anything left unacknowledged was deemed correct.

But in case you’re still arguing the controversial Plumlee-LeBron no-call, now you know the NBA’s definitive opinion.

  1. cbking05 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    White Men Can Jump!

  2. m4a188 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    I’m surprised they didn’t overturn it, give him two points and the win. LeBron seems to get all the phantom calls and none of the warnings for flopping.

    • mornelithe - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      I’m assuming this is an attempt by the league to give one example where that isn’t the case, just to retain some credibility ;)

    • xfactor123 - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      He’ll get that call in the playoffs. Every time.

  3. pacers24 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    It was a great block. Sorry boutcha LeBron, you don’t get every call your way.

    No Wade or Oden tonight vs my boys in blue means you will be crying for even more calls now

    • Miami305 - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      What was that?

  4. doc305 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Lebron was not fouled by Plumlee, but he was fouled going up for the dunk( Joe Johnson hit his arm, rarely called in those situations anyways..). It is what it is, the Heat lost that game on the foul line and the defensive end, not on the last play by Lebron, period.
    I still don’t understand why Lebron didn’t just go for the lay up…

  5. bpayton216 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    No foul on plums. possible reach on Joe. Can’t complain every time you don’t get the call. He’s such a stud on the court I wish he could just man up sometimes.

    • kclanton80 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      @bpayton I’m sorry remind me of the nba player that doesn’t complain about calls? I have never seen one. and it wasn’t a possible reach by joe, it was a clear reach by Joe at :45. Refs swallows their whistles at the end of games even when its lebron so i’m fine with it. Not even sure why this is a story.

      • reesesteel23 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        God. Thank You. During the highlights, they show the questionable foul, then they play an entire clip or Lebrons response to the foul.

        Don’t expect anyone here to use logic though.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Definite foul from Joe Johnson and the league admits the Plums contact was “very, very close” so I don’t see how anyone else can say definitively that Plumlee didn’t foul Lebron.

      One cannot say it was “very, very close” and also say it was “clean.” If one says it’s “very, very close” (so close that they feel the need to use more than one ‘very’) then he’s essentially admitting that it could’ve gone either way.

      • money2long - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        Hahahahha to sum it up U WERE WRONG ! Not overturned. Haha. Ur still bitter. Tsk tsk

  6. lj312chicago - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Bpayton I’m with you 100percent. Always been my knock he’s to good to be such a cry baby all the time it’s annoying as hell. Most annoying SUPERSTAR in nba history …

    • passoutblogger - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      I remember Jordan complaining all the time. LeBron doesn’t seem any worse.

    • gostlcards5 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      I’m no Lebron apologist, but I can’t say that I agree. MJ used to do this exact same thing, constantly in the refs’ ears. He’s the reason that superstars plying for calls leaped forward.

      • 5xchamp24 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Yeah but how many superstars do you see standing around after the game looking at replays and still crying. Then during his interview he said he didn’t need to look at the replay to see if he got fouled. LBJ would be no match for the Bad Boy Pistons or the 80’s if he would have played back then

    • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      Too good to be such a cry baby!? He’s hit far too often to only go to the line 7 times a game!

      LeBron gets hammered more than any other player in the league and he only goes to the line 7 times a game. They will even allow defenders to tackle or clothesline him, and not even call a flagrant!

      If you were him, you’d be angry about that too.

      • bucrightoff - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        He also flops as much as any player in the league and has been warned…zero times. He also is an incessant complainer who whines after every time he doesn’t get a call.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Not only has he been warned, but he’s also been fined. You’re trying too hard.

        And he doesn’t flop as much as any player in the league, he is just the most visible player in the league so it’s talked about incessantly when it happens, giving the illusion that he flops more than someone like Manu Ginobili – which is absolutely impossible.

      • bucrightoff - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        LeBron, Ginobli, Chris Paul are the troika of floppers. The difference between LeBron and the others is LeBron is 6’8 265. The only players who should be able to run over LeBron are centers.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        No. Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Tony Parker, Luis Scola, Dirk Nowitzki, etc are all far worse. LeBron is not even the worst violator on his own team. That goes to Mario Chalmers.

      • money2long - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        Anti isn’t it time for u to bash Kobe’s flopping techniques ..oh wait. Mamba don’t flop

  7. fotydaze - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Well said bpayton!!!!

  8. cantonbound13 - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Good to see David Stern is no longer running the show. No more gifts for the Heat.

  9. kb2408 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    The only reason for the review to begin with is because it was LBJ, aka the biggest crybaby in the league. Ok, one of the biggest.

  10. discountdoublecheck - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Maybe if LBJ laid off those McDonalds cheeseburgers he’s always peddling (since clearly everyone who pushes them eats there) he’d be able to jump straight over the likes of a Plumlee :-D

  11. kclanton80 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    If you look at the play he first puts a hand on his chest and then gets a little bit of ball and mostly hand and arm. To say it’s no question of a possible foul foul is crazy. It is however in line with how games are called at the end. The officials don’t want to be the ones deciding the game so they swallow their whistles unless it something completely egregious. I have no problem with the no call but it could have gone either way.

    • kclanton80 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Not to even mention the clear foul by joe johnson(at:45) before lebron left his feet. It is what its is time to move on.

  12. jolink653 - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Usually breathing too heavily on Lebron draws a foul, so I’m glad the refs decided not to call a foul on a really close play. And he really needs to stop complaining to the refs so much. He gets more calls his way than 95% of the league, and I don’t need to see his reaction to one that didn’t go his way. His reaction got more airtime than the actual block

  13. antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Yes, it is “very, very close” – so close that they’re wrong. Plumlee didn’t get the ball first, his middle finger hit LeBron’s wrist first.

    Plumlee didn’t even block the shot. He caused LeBron to lose control of the ball because he hit his wrist, after LeBron lost control of the ball, Plumlee flicked it away with the tip of one finger.

    It only gave the illusion of a block, but it wasn’t a block, and it definitely wasn’t a clean one.

    • sumkat - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      if your hand (or wrist, even though he didn’t hit his wrist) is on top of the ball, it is part of the ball

      • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        No, not “or wrist.” And that rule only applies to “normal” contact “provided that the contact doesn’t allow a player to gain an advantage on the play.”

        The point of the incidental contact rule is mostly so the refs aren’t calling fouls every minute because of normal defensive swipes at the ball, where a defender may slap a ball handler on the hand, but doesn’t otherwise gain any sort of advantage. That rule was intended to further maintain a nice flow of play, not to allow defenders to cheat.

        So if a player is going up to dunk a ball with the ball at his finger tips – like LeBron had – and you hit him in his wrist to make him lose control of the ball – that’s a foul.

        So certain requirements have to be met for the contact to be ignored. Defenders do not have free rein to go hitting offensive players on the hand any time they want just to try to get a steal or block.

      • money2long - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        Lmao. So happy this guy isn’t a referee anywhere. He’d send lebron to the line 100 times a game

    • casualcommenter - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Nobody here believes you know more about the NBA rulebook than the NBA main office.

      It’s also worth noting that you predicted the NBA main office would be issuing an apology to the Heat within 24 hours for not calling a foul, and you were wrong about that too.

      So the list of errors by you continues to grow.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        They’re the ones who said it was “very, very close” – I didn’t make them say that. They admit that it could’ve gone either way – and they’re absolutely right about that.

        If the play was called a foul the NBA would’ve stood by the refs for that too.

        I never said anything about the NBA office issuing an apology about this play.

    • retxedfred - Apr 12, 2014 at 12:53 AM

      @anti: You make a great point. If only there was a referee standing behind the backboard watching the game at half the speed, Lebron would’ve definitely gotten the call!

      • antistratfordian - Apr 12, 2014 at 1:10 AM

        Well it shouldn’t have taken slow motion to see Plumlee’s left hand extended into LeBron’s chest – that’s also a foul.

  14. electstat - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    If it’s not clear, it shouldn’t be called. Ever.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      The refs are actually trained to blow their whistle when something isn’t clear. They operate under the notion that “if something looks strange, it probably is strange” which is why they blow their whistle any time a player jerks his head or body around.

      In this case they should’ve called a foul, especially since there was much more visible arm contact than any sort of contact with the ball. I suspect that if this play happened 30 seconds earlier LeBron would’ve been shooting two from the free throw line.

      • cbking05 - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        You sound like a byatch…just sayin’

      • antistratfordian - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        You sound like a 12 year old.

      • money2long - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        Anti. You’re trained to blow lebron

    • casualcommenter - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      When LeBron wrapped BOTH of his hands around Paul George’s waist on George’s last-second 3-point attempt in the second Heat-Pacers game earlier this year, I didn’t see antistratfordian complain that the referees should have called a foul on LeBron just to be safe.

      That’s because the equation he follows is simple.
      If LeBron makes contact with an opposing player shooting the basketball towards the end of the game, it should not be called a foul. The referee shouldn’t blow his whistle for a 50-50 judgement call when LeBron is potentially fouling.

      If an opposing player makes contact with LeBron shooting the basketball towards the end of the game, it should be called a foul. The refs should blow their whistle even if they’re not completely clear that it was a foul. They’re “trained” to do it.

      That’s what happens when you’re more of a fan of a particular player than you are of the game of basketball. It becomes about boosting a player rather than appreciating the game.

  15. sumkat - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Odd that the chose a completely different play for the picture coming into the article (that one looked clean too, although hard to tell after the ball was loose)

  16. tampajoey - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    So Lebron is still crying about this 3 days later? Get Lebron a tampon and some Midol.

  17. limonadamas - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    That’s a very misleading picture on the thumbnail, Mr. Feldman. It’s not even the same play. Makes it look like Lebron has a legitimate gripe with the no-call. For shame.

  18. sportsfan18 - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    For all of the folks who say LeBron gets ALL of the calls…

    Now you have to stop saying this.

    Thank you.

    • casualcommenter - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      LeBron doesn’t get all the calls. Serge Ibaka broke LeBron’s nose and left his face bloody, and Ibaka wasn’t called for a personal foul. That’s another example of LeBron not getitng all the calls.

      However, LeBron was correct to not get this call in particular. The NBA has admitted referee errors several times this year under its new commissioner, including errors that changed the outcomes of games involving teams such as Golden State. The NBA is willing to admit a mistake if they’re wrong, but they weren’t wrong, so they’re not admitting fault.

      It was a block. The end.

  19. ProBasketballPundit - Apr 11, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Anyone else notice that Plumlee & LeBron were holding hands on that play? Shouldn’t we be talking about that instead?

  20. lakerade - Apr 12, 2014 at 5:03 AM

    Go Adam Silver!

  21. newyorkball82 - Apr 12, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    There is no reasoning with heat fans. If they lose, they didn’t get beat, the got bad calls or played bad. They haven’t gotten beaten all year. The other team just gets lucky and or the heat played a bad game. Truth is, Lebron can win by himself. He relies more on his supporting players than anybody else in this league. To even think that HE takes over every game is ridiculous.
    He wanted to dunk to be cool and show off, because he is cocky. He got blocked by a rookie. He was embarrassed, so he cried about it. Period.

  22. antistratfordian - Apr 12, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Plumlee fouled LeBron with his left hand long before the meeting at the rim – so the “block” is irrelevant. Plumlee violated the rule of verticality and he initiated contact with an extended hand to LeBron’s chest. Both deserved a whistle.

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