The NBA game between LA Lakers and Boston Celtics turned out to be quite the talking point not just in the States, but across the sporting world. After the match referee accepted that he made a “gut-wrenching error” during the match that played a big role in deciding the outcome, the Lakers have accused the NBA of cheating to deny them a deserved win.
It all happened when Lakers’ power forward LeBron James was challenged by Jayson Tatum and as it turned out, in the dying seconds of the match, James missed out what could have been a game-winning shot. The Lakers players and management flocked the on-field referee for not noticing that and a foul was not given, with the game heading to overtime.
The non-call had James hopping up and down in frustration, while team-mate Patrick Beverley ran on court with a camera seeking to show an official photographic evidence of the foul.
Beverley received a technical foul for his protests and the Celtics converted that free throw at the start of overtime. Celtics went on to win the match 125-121 in overtime, leaving the Lakers fans fuming.
“There was contact, we missed the play,” admitted the game’s officiating crew chief Eric Lewis. “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,” the NBA referees’ official Twitter handle wrote.
LeBron James, often hailed as “King James” by the fans, was livid with the decision and taunted Celtic defender Jayson Tatum on Instagram. In his story, he posted a video of the incident and wrote “Good block, Tatum”, clearly denoting his frustration over it. However, LeBron and Tatum share a friendly equation outside of the court and Tatum too responded to James saying “Last night was a Blur”.
The Lakers, who currently find themselves in the 13th position in the Western Conference, have a mountain to climb to reach the playoffs. They will face the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night who are in the top four of the Western Conference.