NBA Referees Address Missed Foul on LeBron James in Lakers versus Celtics

NBA Referees Address Missed Foul on LeBron James in Lakers versus Celtics

  • The NBA referees' union have addressed a missed foul call in Lakers vs Celtics
  • The referees admitted it was a mistake and said the call 'gives sleepless nights'
  • Officials were criticised for missing the foul on LeBron James by Jayson Tatum

NBA referees have said the missed foul call, by Jayson Tatum on LeBron James, gives them sleepless nights.

The referees did not call a clear foul on James, who was attempting to score a potential game-winner for his team in the last seconds.

The game went to overtime and the Boston Celtics outlasted the Lakers 125-121 in an entertaining game, but the missed call dominated post-game discussions.

LeBron James, NBA referees, Lakers, Celtics
Lakers have been victims of controversial officiating. Photos by Jamie Schwaberow and Maddie Meyer.
Source: Getty Images

The referees for the night received intense criticism on social media from NBA players and fans. The foul happened late in regulation in one of the association's biggest rivalries.

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The game was tied 105-105 with four seconds left on the clock. The 38-year-old drove to the basket for a left-handed lay-up but was hit on the arm by Tatum, forcing him to miss.

James was outraged after the decision, evidenced by his animated reaction on the court. He held his hands to his head in disbelief, per ESPN.

NBA referees react to call

Crew chief, Eric Lewis admitted they missed the call, saying they did not see a foul on James. They took to Twitter to address some of the criticism and the missed foul call.

"Like everyone else, referees make mistakes. We made one at the end of last night's game and that is gut-wrenching for us. This play will weigh heavily and cause sleepless nights as we strive to be the best referees we can be."

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James and Anthony Davis were livid in their post-game comments. The Lakers have been victims of suspect officiating, which may have resulted in defeats, in a season in which they badly need wins.

The league is yet to release its Two Minutes Report for the game.

Reactions to NBA Referees' remarks

Fans were angry at the statement, directing even more criticism towards the officials.

Here are some reactions:


"Hold postgame press conferences like coaches and players."


"Fire or suspend the refs that missed the call. Something needs to be done. You are single handedly hurting the product of the NBA and losing the league viewers and fans. Accountability needs to be prioritized."


"Sleepless nights, right. How about a ding to their paychecks."


"That’s not a mistake come on… The ref on the baseline had his eyes on it… Best view of the entire arena he saw it… We need changes of the rules. And when we make a mistake, we apologize…"

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"Ya'll should be replaced with Robots."


"Except unlike everyone else you guys make the same exact mistakes over and over again call stupid technicals with your superiority complex and go home with no accountability everytime."


"It should. Terrible. Why don’t you review these kind of plays? Why can’t the booth educate you? Makes zero sense."
LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, NBA, Lakers Celtics, NBA referees
Jayson Tatum was said to have clearly fouled LeBron James. Photo by Maddie Meyer.
Source: Getty Images

James reacts to missed call

Sports Brief earlier reported on James reacting to the foul call which was missed, which was a huge talking point after the game.

The Lakers star said he did not understand why he did not get calls, given he gets to the paint as much as players who get double-digit free throws per game.

James is having an impressive season with the Lakers despite their struggles and is set to make history next month by becoming the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

Source: Sports Brief News