LeBron James lays into officials after would-be game-tying 3-pointer gets ruled a 2-pointer

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In the NBA game between theLos Angeles Lakersand theMinnesota Timberwolveson December 31, 2023, there was a controversial call involving a potential game-tying 3-pointer byLeBron James that didn’t go the Lakers’ way.

The key details of the situation are:

  • With 1.4 seconds and a final possession left, James caught a pass fromAnthony Davis at the 3-point line. He backed up to the line and made a long basket that was initially ruled to be worth two points.
  • However, the officials quickly went to review to decide if James had shot from behind the 3-point line, which is necessary for a 3-pointer to count for three points.
  • After a few minutes, the officials announced the play would stand as called, which enraged James. He responded by repeatedly pointing to the screen and berating the officials for missing what he believed to be an obvious call.
  • Despite the controversial call, the Lakers ultimately didn’t get a shot off, losing the game 108-106.

So, was the call correct? Well, it’s hard to definitively say.There was one shot that seemed to show space between James’ foot and the 3-point line, but it’s not clear from the available footage if the officials got it wrong or if James’ foot was indeed slightly behind the line.

However, it’s worth noting that in the NBA, the rulebook states that “if any part of the player’s foot or leg is behind the 3-point line when the ball is released, it is a 2-pointer, regardless of whether the player’s body is above or below the 3-point line”. So, it’s possible that the officials made the correct call based on this rule.

In the end, thisNBA game is a prime example of why close calls are often controversial and can lead to heated exchanges between players and officials.

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