LeBron James Rants Over “Frustrating” NBA Officials Decision as Lakers Suffer Heartbreak in the Dying Seconds

Published 01/16/2023, 11:29 PM EST
Jan 7, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after being called for a technical foul against the Sacramento Kings in the second quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers (19-24) fell to the Philadelphia 76ers (27-16) by a mere one-point difference. The final tally was 113-112 at the Crypto.com Arena. However, the Lakers could have taken the game into overtime, with Russell Westbrook driving the ball to the basket. But that wasn’t the case, and a fan conspiracy theory argues that the NBA referees seem to be at fault. LeBron James retweeted the fan’s discovery and had his own rant on social media.

The NBA champion, Lebron James may have reached his saturation point when it comes to NBA officiating. He didn’t mince words as he showed how displeased he was. He said that it was “frustrating as hell“.

What is LeBron James frustrated about?


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LeBron tweeted, “And all year they keep telling me to my face on the court, “I didn’t see it” or “It wasn’t a foul”. It’s not making sense to me seriously!“. What prompted this response was a fan pointing out how a foul should have been called at the end of their matchup with the 76ers.

The fan shared a closeup video of Joel Embiid allegedly holding Russell Westbrook’s arm as the latter tries for a clutch moment. He believed that moment should have been called. The fan also put down one key question: “For NBA to come out & shamelessly lie 2 games in a row against the Lakers?

The netizen also labeled this as a “huge scandal”, with the NBA altering their own rules to suit the context when it was so blatantly clear to the fans.

Others react to the moment

Russell Westbrook spoke after the match and told that his hand was restricted. He said, “I couldn’t get my hand up to shoot because he was grabbing it“.

A more curious thing was noted by Yahoo! Sports. “Somehow, the NBA didn’t concur, even with the benefit of replay and the accountability of its last-two-minute report. The report released Monday declared that Embiid did not foul Westbrook.


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Jan 15, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) moves to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In their report, they stated that Embiid only had “marginal arm contact“.

In November 2022, Lakers Daily also reported that LeBron James had revealed that referees came to him after games and during halftime to confess that they did miss fouls “that went uncalled on him”.


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What do you think of the conspiracy theory?



Rekha Joly

386 articles

Rekha Joly is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She earned a triple major in English, Journalism, and Psychology from St. Joseph's College, Bangalore.

Edited By: Gideon Mathson