LeBron James is good enough at basketball where he shouldn’t have to resort to other antics on the basketball court. King James is quickly becoming King Flopper, and it was evident Sunday night. It’s been a part of his game all season, but when his Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Phoenix for Game 1 of their playoff series, it reached a new level.
LeBron James has always been considered a flopper
Maybe it’s the environment. Maybe it’s the age factor. For whatever reason, James has been ramping up his acting skills. Flopping has always been a part of James’ game. It’s been going on long before he moved to Los Angeles. He even addressed the issue back in 2013 as a member of the Miami Heat.
After a game against the Chicago Bulls in 2013, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau called out James for one of his numerous career overreactions. “From my angle, I just saw a guy flop,” Thibodeau said then, according to Bleacher Report.
The Bulls coach wasn’t the only one to call him out. “You see LeBron in a lot of commercials, a lot of good acting,” Nate Robinson said.
James addressed the issue then, saying he doesn’t need to flop. “It’s kind of the same (as when) I heard people say I was overrated,” he said. “It’s kind of like the same response. Don’t need to flop. I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys.”
LeBron James has improved those acting skills since he moved to Hollywood
James is a superstar in the NBA. He’s going to get his calls. He doesn’t need to add that extra flare whenever contact is made. As he’s getting older, the LeBron flops are getting more frequent. Some are even getting better.
He made one a little too obvious during a February game against the Memphis Grizzlies. After Anthony Davis took a shot, James and Dillon Brooks made minimal contact each other when going for a rebound. James threw his arms in the air as he fell to the floor, drawing a laughable foul.
“Are you serious? Are you kidding me, man?,” the Grizzlies’ broadcast team said, according to CBS Sports. “That is awful, horrible, whatever other words you can come up with that are synonyms with those. That’s what that was.”
James not only drew the foul, but he also drew attention to himself with his acting skills. The NBA issued a warning to him for violating the league’s anti-flopping rule.
James has been overdoing the flopping thing
It’s reached a point of embarrassment. James has cried wolf too many times. In early May, he was at it again against the Toronto Raptors. He went up for a shot against Stanley Johnson, who had his arms straight up and made absolutely no contact with him as shown in this tweet. James acted as if he was hit in the head, drawing a foul.
On Sunday, point guard Chris Paul, who is nine inches shorter and 75 pounds lighter than James, boxes out the Lakers forward. When he made light contact with him, James went flying through the air before landing on the ground and grabbing his shoulder. Lakers coach Frank Vogel called it a dirty play by Paul, who simply was boxing out.
Paul couldn’t even get himself to address Vogel’s comments. “I don’t know anything about that. I have absolutely nothing to say about that,” Paul said, according to The Sporting News. “We’re just playing basketball and competing.”
At least with Paul, there was some contact. Dirty? No. James is usually the one to benefit from NBA calls, but at this rate, the officials might have to start calling him out more often.