LeBron James is not into the NBA’s (pretty) new regulations for elbow contact to the face of an opponent, he said on Monday. Speaking on The Dan Patrick Show, James said he has no problem with the league’s willingness to call it out on social media, but the punishment that is eventually handed down, remains something of a grey area.
“A lot of people calling for action on it but some bulls— is already in the rules,” James said. “[It’s] tough because you can’t have a tech for an elbow that’s 10 seconds later. There’s a technical. But it’s tough.”
James’s issue with the play, in which he collided with Dallas’ Luka Doncic on Saturday night, appears to be the rather brief time between the ball going in the hoop and James and Doncic leaving the floor. James was out on the court with the game tied when the free throw was announced, and Doncic immediately left the court for the locker room with what appeared to be a minor injury to his chin. The dunk was essentially uncontested, despite Doncic getting a quick glance at the basket.
“You’re coming back from the free throw line, I’m looking at the basket — there’s no way you’re missing that free throw — and all of a sudden you come in like a fat man,” James said. “It’s a bad look. It’s a bad move. It was unsportsmanlike. I think the league will come down hard on it but we’ll see.”
Dan Patrick asked James if he disagreed with the decision by the league to suspend Doncic for two games.
“Some bull—-,” James said. “I’m not a no-shot guy. If I could take it again, I would have come in hard with that dunk in that situation but I still get fined for it. Doncic deserves a fair shot to see if he’s mad at me. And obviously, he wasn’t. And it’s like, OK. So we have a situation. I don’t care if he gets suspended for two games because that’s not going to teach him anything. I get fined every year for making just another solid basketball play.”
And of course, it’s worth noting that James was outspoken about the charges leveled at him during the 2017 Finals, when he was called for two technical fouls and a flagrant-1 foul in the first half of the series-clinching game.
“You saw me the whole series. That’s a good look to me,” James said after Game 7. “I got a bag of money. My body got covered in cash. I was sending a message. This is my job, so I don’t really have a problem with the stuff. Like I said, every foul I got called in that series, you guys saw — call them for that, like the way I was looking at the rim or when I did the dunk, do you really think it was ever a foul?”