LeBron James, the superstar of the Los Angeles Lakers, supported the officiating in the 132-131 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, responding to Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic’s criticism of the fourth-quarter foul imbalance.
In his postgame remarks to reporters (starting at the 4:02 mark of the video), James straightforwardly addressed Rajakovi?’s complaints, stating, “I felt like they fouled and we didn’t.”
Rajakovi? had criticized the officials in his postgame interview, particularly focusing on the Lakers receiving 23 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter compared to Toronto’s two (as reported by ESPN):
“It’s outrageous. What happened tonight, this is completely B.S. This is shame. Shame for the referees. Shame for the league to allow this. Twenty-three free throws for them, and we get two free throws in the fourth quarter? Like, how to play the game? I understand respect for All-Stars and all that, but we have star players on our team.
“How [is it] possible that Scottie Barnes, who is an All-Star-caliber player in this league, goes every single time to the rim with force and tries to get to the rim without flopping and not trying to get foul calls, he gets two free throws for a whole game? How is that possible? How are you going to explain that to me?”
Evan Turner also shared his perspective on the rant, suggesting that if his assistant coaches conveyed it, it would have been more effective.
Rajakovic’s argument was centered on the significant disparity in foul calls during the fourth quarter, enabling the Lakers to capitalize at the free-throw line and score 44 points in the final frame.
Regardless of the accent, it was a substantial and well-delivered rant.