The way LeBron James has been officiated reminds him of his former team-mate Shaquille O’Neal, revealed Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue. The Cavs coach hailed James’ on-court physical moves.
“He’s so strong and so physical when he goes to the basket, guys are bouncing off of him. Those are still fouls, but he doesn’t get that call because he’s so big and so strong and so physical.” Said Lue after his team took a 3-0 lead over the Pistons in the first round of the playoffs.
“He’s the Shaq of guards and forwards.”
The soft fouls are not given against James. Often the cynic ones are ignored too. The subject of how physical play against the Cavs All-star is treated by the referees became an issue after he was elbowed in the neck by Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons in game 3 of the playoffs. Drummond managed to escape with the offense and was not penalized by the NBA.
“We used to tease Shaq all the time about soft fouls. He said: ‘Listen if I pinch you, it feels the same way when you pinch me. No matter how big I am, it feels the same.’ I never thought about it like that. That’s kind of how LeBron feels.”
The referees also didn’t give the videos of the hits made by Drummond at James’ back, and Marcus Morris at James’ ribs during the game 2 to the league officials. After Drummond’s act in game 3, the Cavs‘ were compelled to report the league office.
“Initially, I was surprised,” James said, according to the ESPN. “but then I thought who he did it too, and I wasn’t surprised.”
Lue also likes James’ approach of staying focused at his job when the opponents attempt to bully him.
“I love that about him,” Lue said. “He gets hit all the time, and he just gets up, shakes it off and moves on to the next play.”
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