LeBron James Calls Out Refs After Shooting Just 4 Free Throws In Loss To Spurs

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

LeBron James had only lost once in since February 6 heading into his Cleveland Cavaliers’ Sunday matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, winning six times in that span—seven if you include his All-Star squad’s performance a week ago.

But after a close game got out of hand on Sunday en route to a 110-94 loss, LeBron took his frustrations out on the officials, claiming they favor jump shooters more than they do players who penetrate and initiate contact. The Spurs shot 32 free throws to the Cavs’ 14, only four of which came from LeBron, but Cleveland settled for outside shots more often, hoisting 34 threes, 15 more than San Antonio.

“We’re at a point now where we protect the shooter more than the driver. LeBron said in the locker room after the defeat. “There’s no reason I should be going to the line four times in a game when I drive a hundred times in the paint. I’m getting hit and slapped and grabbed. … But we protect the shooter. That’s what it’s turned into. Chicks dig the long ball. That’s what it’s about.”

LeBron got a technical for complaining about this spiffy-clean block by Kyle Anderson.

Perhaps LeBron was just redirecting his frustrations with his teammates toward the officials. While he went off for 33 points on 14-of-25 shooting, his fellow starters shot a putrid 6-of-28 for just 14 points.

“Did I not tell you guys this?” LeBron told reporters. “Did I not tell you guys this: we’re going to have some games where we look great, we’re going to have games where we don’t look as great? I think we played well tonight, we just didn’t make shots, same with the Washington game. I think we played well that night.

“Defensively, we were in tune. They started making shots, we couldn’t make no shots. It’s not a surprise, not to me.”