NBA

LeBron bemoans 'weird' NBA call as Lakers lose to Warriors amid shot-clock malfunction

By Sports Desk March 17, 2024

LeBron James bemoaned the Los Angeles Lakers suffering from a "weird" NBA review call as the Golden State Warriors triumphed on Saturday.

The Lakers trailed 124-120 with 1:50 remaining of the fourth quarter when a delay started after Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham challenged an out-of-bounds call that granted the Warriors possession.

Ham's questioning was proved correct as the Lakers were granted the ball but, in the process, the Lakers were punished for points after the officials reviewed LeBron's earlier three-pointer.

LeBron was deemed to have been in contact with the paint when shooting from the corner, with his three-point conversion reduced to two by the officials.

"I've never seen that be called before like that, in that particular time," said James, who finished with 40 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds.

"That was kind of weird. It took some momentum away from us. I didn't believe I stepped on the line.

"I knew how much space I had over there. And when I shoot, I shoot on my tippy toes, so it's kind of hard for me to have a heel down."

NBA official David Guthrie explained the call after the game, though that did not quell the frustrations from either side.

"James' left foot is out of bounds as he begins to shoot," Guthrie said. "Yes, it is reviewable at that time.

"The rule is Rule 13, Section II(f)(3): Whether the shooter committed a boundary line violation, the replay center official will only look at the position of the player's feet at the moment they touch the floor immediately prior to the release of the shot. This can be applied during other replay triggers as well."

Despite profiting from the review, even Golden State coach Steve Kerr was unsure of the ruling.

"I also don't like the rule that you can go back and look at an out of bounds, or LeBron's 3," Kerr said. "That seems to happen once or twice a year. I'd love to see that rule go away.

"I think we're trying so hard to get everything just right, at the expense of the flow. Who cares if a guy's foot is half an inch on the line?

"Is that worth going back 45 seconds and changing everything, with the unintended consequences? It's not my favourite rule, for sure."

Although Kerr surprisingly took the side of the opposition, LeBron was content to prioritise fairness rather than lament the method of replay reviews.

"At the end of the day, you want to get it right," LeBron said. "So, it's unfortunate what happened. But you want to try to get it right, obviously.

"And our crew has a job to do, which is the referees, they have a job to do, and they have to do it at the best they can. So, all good."

If the review decision was not bemusing enough, the last two minutes of the game took more than 20 minutes due to additional shot-clock malfunctions.

The Lakers twice tried to restart play but the shot clock was not in cohesion, leaving the stadium announcer to count the time down due to the technology issue.

"It was bizarre," Kerr added. "It seems like a few times a year you get clock issues. That's about as extreme as I've been a part of where the backup unit doesn't work either.

"It's unfortunate. I felt bad for the fans. That was a great game, and then the last two minutes everyone is just kind of looking at each other wondering what to do."

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