The Los Angeles Lakers lost their first game in nearly two weeks last night, losing 115-113 to the Golden State Warriors. The normal frustration after a loss was amplified for the Lakers, as they led for nearly all of the game including a 16-point lead at halftime. They lacked energy in the second half, squandering an 11-point lead going into the 4th quarter as Stephen Curry reintroduced himself to LeBron and the Lakers with eight points in the final 3:36 of the game.
After the game, LeBron James spoke mostly about his personal frustrations with the officials. His complaints mostly revolved around a travel violation from Draymond Green that was not called. It especially pissed LeBron off considering a travel had just been called on him on one of the preceding plays. LeBron’s travel was definitely a travel, but Green’s is definitely more obvious than LeBron’s. Take a look for yourself below. For what it’s worth (it’s worth nothing), the league confirmed afterward that they missed the travel call on Green.
mind boggling that the refs would see the clear LeBron travel, and then miss the even clearer Draymond travel. pic.twitter.com/M6gzX2DM4F
— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) January 19, 2021
LeBron definitely traveled. You can decide for yourself on the Draymond one, I think he drags his foot so it should be a travel but it is pretty close. HUGE play to go up 4 for the Dubs. pic.twitter.com/bAwm1V6TD1
— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) January 19, 2021
LeBron said the following about the two plays, per Ryan Ward of Lakersdaily.com:
It’s a move I’ve been making pretty much my whole career, and if that’s the call that’s going to be called a travel then I would like to see it across the whole board. Every game, consistent like that. It’s so funny because the very next play Draymond gets into the lane and slides his foot and it’s not called and the same official called me for the travel is right there on the play and told me he didn’t travel. That’s definitely something I got to be more wary about but I have not been called for a travel like that in my career.
Other than the two plays evidenced above, LeBron said the following about the Lakers’ response to the officiating late as a whole.
LeBron on fourth quarter: "I think we just had some tough breaks, some tough calls against us in the second half that slowed our pace down. … We couldn't get back into a rhythm."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) January 19, 2021
Frank Vogel agreed with LeBron in regards to the Lakers’ response to officiating (per Harrison Faigen/Silver Screen & Roll). However, he did not directly criticize the officiating (Frank Vogel doesn’t have as much money as LeBron and cannot so easily afford fines from the league). Either way, it’s a little sad to see the Lakers blame officiating for losing a game that they should have never been in a position to lose. Their energy should be the first and last thing brought up by the team as a result for the loss.