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LeBron James Upset With Referees Over Free Throw Disparity

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LeBron James has continued to call out the referees, with his frustration stemming from the Lakers attempting just eight free throws compared to the Suns’ 19 during LA’s 123-113 loss in Phoenix on Sunday.

James has been riding the referees for much of the season, despite the Lakers’ having the most favourable free-throw differential in the NBA by far.

“A lot of people, a lot of coaches, a lot of teams are like, ‘That’s all the Lakers do is get to the free throw line,’” James said. “It’s like this narrative out there that that’s all we do is get to the free throw line. I mean, we have attackers. That’s what we do. We have attackers.

“Yeah, we shoot the ball from the perimeter, but we’re not shooting 40 to 50 3s a game. We’re not that team. We don’t have the luxury of being that team. So, working it into the paint, that’s what we’re really good at. “To have eight free throw attempts is definitely not us. I know, definitely, I got hit a couple times when I got to the paint tonight that wasn’t called. But it is what it is.”

 

Meanwhile, Lakers coach Darvin Ham was especially frustrated over what he perceived to be a one-sided whistle.

“I’m not one to use referees as an excuse,” Ham said. “But it’s becoming increasingly tough because of the inconsistency. I’m seeing our guys get the same contact on them as we’re supposedly committing. And the whistle is not being blown.

“That’s something we focus on, trying to win the free throw line every game. And so that’s tough. I’m telling my guys to drive downhill; we’re trying to love and live in the paint. And you’re not getting calls. I see guys with their hands in our guys’ ribs or swinging, swiping at their heads, trying to block the shot but not getting the ball, but getting a piece of the body. And it’s not being called, as simple as that. So, we have to figure out ways to not let that be a problem, but it’s tough. Again, it’s frustrating when there’s so much inconsistency.”

Following Sunday’s loss to the Suns, the Lakers now sit at 31-28 in ninth spot in the West.

READ MORE: LeBron James Addresses Warriors Trade Attempt, Bronny Draft Timing



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