Before their impressive win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers suffered an embarrassing 127-113 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last Friday. The four-time MVP was incredibly frustrated after the game, refusing to engage with reporters. However, he was just miffed with the Grizzlies’ physical defense and the lack of foul calls from the referees during the contest.
In a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, expert lip-reader Legend_Z decoded James’ complaints during the game against the Grizzlies. After getting swarmed by a slew of Memphis players and lobbing up a shot, the Lakers superstar exclaimed, “Yo! F**k, man! Come on, man!” James was miffed about not getting two free throws. Later, a foul by Jaren Jackson Jr. earned his ire, prompting him to yell:
“Come on! Y’all need to stop fouling like a motherf**ker!”
Jackson did not respond to James’ jibe. While the Lakers superstar was at the free-throw line, Grizzlies star Desmond Bane held onto the ball and argued with the ref, frustrating him further. He yelled at the referee:
“Give me the damn ball! (Talk) another time, sh*t!”
Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/legendz_nba/status/1744514729953948037?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
The Grizzlies are well-versed in getting under James’ skin. During the playoffs last season, former Memphis guard Dillon Brooks called the Lakers superstar “old” and challenged him, saying:
“I poke bears. I don’t respect no one until they come and give me 40 (points).”
After James and the Lakers beat the Grizzlies by 40 points in Game 6 and eliminated them, he posted an image carousel on Instagram with the caption:
“If you ever see me fighting in the forest with a Grizzly bear, HELP THE BEAR.”
Loading embed instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CroMTEqJP0O/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading
James and the Lakers continued their dominance over the Grizzlies this season, beating them 134-107 in their first meeting. During their second meeting of the season last Friday, the two teams headed into the fourth quarter with the scores level. However, a 33-19 fourth quarter in the Grizzlies’ favour saw the Lakers lose by 14. The defeat was Los Angeles’ fourth on the trot and saw them drop to two games below .500.
LeBron James’ complaints about lack of foul calls
Even at 39, LeBron James is one of the most physically dominant players in the league. The Lakers superstar has an innate ability to get his shot off when he decides to attack the rim. However, his physical prowess also hurt his ability to get foul calls. James is joint-17th in points per game with 25.2, but he ranks 26th in the league in free throw attempts per game.
James voiced his frustration about the lack of foul calls after the Lakers’ narrow 107-106 loss to the Miami Heat. He was upset about former teammate Thomas Bryant escaping getting called for a foul after elbowing the Lakers superstar. James said:
“What they’re telling me is not consistent with what’s actually happening on the floor. When I went for the dunk attempt against Thomas Bryant, he clearly elbowed, like, arm straight across my face. And I asked him for the explanation. Well, one of the refs said that he was straight up, hands straight in the air. Two of the refs said they were blocked and they didn’t see it.”
The Lakers lodged an official complaint post-game to no avail. James has averaged six or fewer free throw attempts per game only six times in his career. Five of those six instances have been in the last five seasons. Referees continue to overlook fouls on James and the Lakers superstar is irate.